Commissioners Vasu Gounden and chairman Marumo Moerane. File photo: African News Agency/ANA
Durban - One of the witnesses who testified before the Moerane Commission of Inquiry into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal is preparing to head to court to force the state to provide him with bodyguards.

Testifying before the commission over two days in ­October last year, Thabiso Zulu said rampant corruption at the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality, including the refurbishment of the Umzimkhulu ­Memorial Hall, had been central to former ANCYL secretary Sindiso Magaqa’s murder.

Magaqa died in September last year, after being shot in his home village of Ibisi, Umzimkhulu, in July, with his murder linked to his anti-corruption stance - particularly in the Umzimkhulu Memorial Hall debacle.

Zulu said that the Moerane Commission had done nothing to take up the matter of protecting him and Les Stuta, an ANC member in Umzimkhulu and fellow whistle-blower.

He said he and Stuta had approached the public protector’s office, who initiated an investigation into the Umzimkhulu Memorial Hall, telling her they needed protection.

“Both Les and I have had two threat assessments done by the Crime Intelligence Unit, and there is also the State Security Agency’s threat assessment that was emailed to him,” said Zulu.

“After Magaqa’s funeral, I started seeing unknown cars where I live, and I was under surveillance,” Zulu said.

Oupa Segalwe, the public protector’s spokesperson, said: “The public protector is putting the final touches to the report. The investigation was completed in a shorter time than other matters of a similar nature,” said Segalwe.

On the issue of the protection of witnesses such as Zulu, Segalwe said the public protector tried all in her power to ensure the safety and security of the whistle-blowers.

“Unfortunately we did not get the co-operation we expected from the SAPS. The report will cover this,” said Segalwe.

The Mercury