Another Magaqa friend living in fear
Durban - Another friend of slain former ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa has revealed that he lives in constant fear of being assassinated after an attempt to kill whistle-blower Thabiso Zulu at the weekend.
Les Stuta, a friend of Magaqa and Zulu, said on Wednesday that on the evening of September 13, he caught an armed intruder trying to gain entry to his house in Kokstad.
“I was approaching my home accompanied by two friends who volunteer as my protectors when we saw a man trying to jump the fence. We fired gunshots and the man fell after being hit.
“Two other men immediately picked him up and ran away to a car then they drove away,” he said.
Both Zulu and Stuta were believed to be among witnesses in a case involving the murder of Magaqa, who was shot in 2016.
Stuta said they immediately called the police who arrived at his house and told them to go to Kokstad police station to open a case.
“At the police station, we were told to wait for a police colonel to assist us to open the case, but we waited for hours for the colonel who did not arrive. We were then told to go home to wait for a phone call to inform us when we should return to the police station, but that never happened,” Stuta said.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala could not confirm the attempt on Zulu’s life on Wednesday.
Stuta revealed the incident in a bid to highlight the danger he and Zulu were facing since they have not been provided with state security despite national crime intelligence and Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane recommendations.
“My fear had been worsened by the attempt on Thabiso’s life since we are close and are both witnesses in Magaqa’s case,” he said.
Both Zulu and Stuta told mourners at the funeral that their friend had been killed because of the evidence he had about fraud and corruption in connection with the refurbishment of a memorial hall in Umzimkhulu.
They also testified at the Moerane Commission of Inquiry into the political killings in KZN.
“We are being followed almost on a daily basis, and no one cares about our safety,” he said.
He added that he and Zulu now rely on friends to protect them.
Police Minister Bheki Cele had been against Mkhwebane’s recommendations.
Cele’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said on Wednesday that the minister was expecting the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to hear the minister’s application to review the recommendations.
“The minister of police still holds the view that the protection of any witness is the responsibility of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in accordance with the Witness Protection Act,” said Themba.