Bheki Cele announces Sindiso Magaqa trial to go ahead, but family and friends want real culprits in the dock
Share this article:
Durban - The Minister of Police Bheki Cele on Wednesday announced that eight suspects arrested for the brutal slaying of former ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa will be tried on July 19.
However, this has not given Magaqa’s family and friends any joy as they maintain that the only closure for them would be to know who ordered the assassination.
Cele on Wednesday told a press conference in Durban where the inter-ministerial task team established by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 to probe the wave of political killings in KZN was giving an update on several cases in the province.
Among those already in the dock for Magaqa’s murder are Mbulelo Mpofana, Sibonelo Myeza and Mlungisi Ncalane, the latter two being former SAPS officers (14 others SAPS officers are allegedly involved in other political killings) who have since been dismissed while in custody.
This would not be a first appearance for the suspects as the Director of Public Prosecutions in KZN advocate Elaine Zungu confirmed to Independent Media that this case had already been heard in the Scottsburgh Magistrate’s Court.
Specifically, on the issue of Magaqa, Cele said: “The murder case of former ANC Youth League secretary-general will also commence on the 19 of July 2021. The task team arrested eight suspects and five of them have been charged with his murder and one died and charges were withdrawn against two suspects.”
The spokesperson of the Magaqa family, Lwazi Magaqa said it was worrying them that the case was encouraging unexplained delays. He added that it was not only them who wanted answers but also the community of Mzimkhulu, where Magaqa was a councillor, and the country at large.
“Personally, I am happy that there are people behind bars and the processes that have been undertaken to prosecute them, but I would like to know who ordered the hit, how it was planned and why. We all want those answers,” he said.
Magaqa’s friend and anti-corruption crusader Thabiso Zulu, an ANC member from Mzimkhulu, said the whole process would be hollow prosecution if the real culprits are not nabbed.
“The problem here is that we have an SAPS that knows that they have arrested people that had got no fight with Magaqa, had no squabbles and even did not know Magaqa except Mpofana. Why would these people then be implicated in killing Magaqa? The only reason is one; that they were ordered by corrupt political gangsters. But those gangsters are not in the dock, some of them were arrested and the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) said their charges were being provisionally withdrawn.
“It’s been two years now, why those charges have not been reinstated? I submit that this is telephone justice where everything is controlled by phone, someone is saying charge this one, leave this one and release that one,” said Zulu.
Meanwhile, the NPA said it was satisfied with the evidence it has in the matter and that the people who are being prosecuted are the correct suspects.
In another high-profile case involving Qashana Mchunu, a former ANC councillor and CR17 loyalist who was gunned down in Pietermaritzburg in May 2018, Cele said the case would get under way in July as well.
“Seven suspects have been arrested and one suspect have been charged with his murder and four of these suspects will face charges of conspiracy to commit murder. It is important to raise this case because there was a time when everybody was making a lot of noise about the withdrawal of this case,” Cele said.
In the north, Cele said there would be a prosecution in the murder of Wandile Ngubeni, a former regional leader of the ANC Youth League in the eMalahleni region, who was killed in May 2016.
“Two suspects will answer for his murder on November 12, 2021.”
Also on the prosecution roll in November is the case involving the killing of Sibuyiselo Dlamini, an IFP member who was slain in Ulundi a few years ago.