Stellenbosch official and wife to appear in court over murder of former deputy mayor
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Cape Town - As tensions over land continue to simmer in Stellenbosch, a municipal office bearer in the region is among three suspects expected in court today on charges relating to the 2019 murder of former deputy mayor Cameron Mcako.
The accused official, 56, whose identity is known to the Cape Times, was arrested along with his wife, 46, and a third male suspect aged 48 on Tuesday night.
Mcako was the second prominent political figure to be killed in Khayamandi amid intense clashes for prime land to be made available for the poor.
In August that year, land activist and politician Midas Wanana was shot dead outside his home in the township.
Wanana had spearheaded the establishment of Azania, an informal settlement on slain landowner Stefan Smit’s Louiesenhof wine farm.
Smit was also killed in his home in June that year.
Mcako was shot in his tavern and later succumbed to his wounds two days later in hospital.
Police yesterday said Mcako’s murder was believed to be politically motivated.
“Relentless in their pursuit, Stellenbosch detectives concluded their investigation into the murder of Cameron Mcako, 56, which resulted in the arrest of three suspects,” police spokesperson Andrè Traut said.
“In what is believed to be politically motivated, Mcako was shot and wounded at his Kayamandi tavern on 1 November 2019 and succumbed to death two days later in hospital.
“The thorough investigation led detectives to a husband and wife aged 56 and 46 and a third male suspect aged 48 who are scheduled to make their court appearance in Stellenbosch on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
“Police management in the province congratulated the detectives for their diligence to pursue the case so that the perpetrators can see their day in a court of law,” Traut said.
In a tweet the Municipality confirmed that “it has been made aware that one of its office bearer was taken into custody”.
“The individual has not yet appeared in court to enter a plea. The charges remain unknown. The municipality will only be in a position to release an official statement once this has happened. At this stage, any further queries around this should be directed to the SAPS and the political party concerned,” reads the tweet.
They did not respond to further requests for comment.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said one accused had already appeared in court.
Community activist Zola Ndalasi said the community is divided in the matter.
“Leaders play dirty politics with municipal officials and all of these killings are because they work hand in hand with the municipal officials.
“This thing of leaders betraying each other will never come to an end because they use each other as the stepping ladder to get higher positions in government.
“Our mission here is to the land, not to kill each other, but people are so greedy that once you disagree with them they kill you. Police must make more arrests of other leaders who were killed because of land.
“I have been getting death threats from the people that I call comrades because I am vocal regarding the land issue. Last month we had a march and submitted a memorandum, in which we gave them seven days to reply to our demands and they never did so. Soon or later we will close down the streets of Stellenbosch,” said Ndalasi.