Politics / 29 October 2019, 07:20am / Sihle Mavuso
Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has announced it is willing to protect whistle-blower Thabiso Zulu, who was shot at this weekend.
The party’s provincial chairperson, Sihle Zikalala, on Monday said he was shocked at attempts to murder Zulu as he believed violence and killings in KZN had subsided.
Zikalala promised that the party would urgently intervene to deal with this matter and “that support and protection will be provided to Zulu.”
He also said the ANC in the province would engage authorities to process such an intervention.
“We’re very concerned about this situation because we thought that we had now stabilised as a province. We thought we had reached a point where issues of this nature are no longer there,” said Zikalala in a statement.
He added that the attack on Zulu on Saturday in Pietermaritzburg undermined the party’s ongoing efforts to bring about stability in the province.
Zulu was currently in hiding after discharging himself from the hospital where he was admitted after the shooting.
He said he fled the hospital, fearing he could be poisoned, or that assassins could reach him there.
“The president is aware of myplight. He has been aware for some time. He was reminded again after the attack on me.
"I don’t feel safe. I fear for my life even more after the attack but I will not retreat, the struggle against corruption will continue. I remain resolute and focused,” Zulu said from a secret location.
He said a friend, who was with him when gunmen opened fire, was not hurt in the shooting and lamented that he would be vulnerable until the government intervened.
“I currently don’t have bodyguards but there is nothing I can do about it. While the state refuses to implement its own recommendations (Crime Intelligence) and (State Security) and that of the independent body public protector, I remain exposed, vulnerable and betrayed,” he said.
While for a long time it was believed that providing security for Zulu was the responsibility of the police.
Minister Bheki Cele’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, said the matter should be handled by the Justice and Correctional Services Department.
National Prosecution Authority spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke said a witness protection programme was only considered when a recommendation was made by the investigating officer and the prosecutor working on a case when a witness was under threat.
“There has been no such recommendation yet from the police, nor confirmation that’s what he (Zulu) requires. It remains the responsibility of the police to conduct such a threat analysis and on the basis of that either provide the required protection (body-guard or guarding services, which is not part of the NPA’s witness protection programme),” Makeke said.