Sibusiso Sithole
Durban - Slain Richmond municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole was under political pressure from inside the municipality and the public to such an extent that his family were looking forward to moving away from the area shortly before he was killed in March.

His wife, Slindile Sithole, testified before the Moerane Commission on Monday, revealing that they were under pressure from community members who demanded jobs in the municipality.

“Some would try to blackmail us, saying if we do not get them jobs, they would no longer support us. I told my husband we had lived in Richmond all our lives and it was time to move away,” she said.

“I know this from personal experience, because at times people would come to me directly and ask me to put a word for them with my husband, and the next time they see me, they will not even speak to me.”

She said it was possible those who felt aggrieved by not getting jobs had been angry enough to kill her husband. “It’s possible, but I do not think someone would kill you for a job.”

It also emerged that Sbu had deposed an affidavit with the police that detailed allegations of corruption within the municipality. In the affidavit, he named the people he suspected of wrongdoing.

It was also revealed that he was against the appointment of two councillors to full-time positions because the municipality could not afford it.

“He never spoke to me about work issues as he never liked to discuss work at home, but he told me that the two bodyguards were soldiers from Umkhonto (weSizwe) who needed work, and he had to take two of them.”

Slindile described her husband as an upstanding and honest man.

“Even when jobs became available, he wanted them to be advertised so everyone has an equal chance,” she said.

Detailing the day her husband was shot dead next to Richmond police station, she said her husband had gone to renew his licence disc when he came under attack.

“It’s clear that this was an assassination, because he was shot nine times, and five of those shots were to his head and nothing was taken,” the widow said.

She also criticised the conduct of the police, saying they had not updated her on the case. “Even just finding out who is leading the case, I had to go there myself and ask,” she said.

She urged the police to commit to doing their work and urged the community to speak out when such attacks happen. “Richmond is a very small community, it cannot be that someone like Sbu gets killed and yet no one knows anything,” Slindile said.