Sindiso Magaqa’s friend won’t attend murder trial as he fears for his life
With the prosecution of the four suspects accused of killing former ANC youth league secretary Sindiso Magaqa starting on Monday, one of his friends says he won't attend the trial as he is fears for his life.
Thabiso Zulu, a long-time political friend of Magaqa and whistleblower who testified before the Moerane Commission - which was probing political killings in KZN - says his life is in danger because the state failed to provide him with security as directed by the Public Protector when it became clear that he may be killed.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Zulu said despite the threats, he was proud of the risks he took to expose corruption at Umzimkhulu municipality where Magaqa was a councillor before he was killed in 2017, allegedly for blowing the whistle on rampant corruption in the municipality.
“I may not attend the trial because of safety concerns but I trust my efforts will be rewarded one day in this life, that I waged an open war against those who murdered and those who were trying to cover up. I may not be alive when the trial is concluded because I can see that danger around me has increased immensely but history will remember my efforts and many others who did everything at a great risk to themselves and their families to expose graft.
“At an early age of my life I watched a movie which had the lines ' anticipation of death is worse than death itself', I can attest. No amount of brutality can compare to what I felt fearing for my life, asking for help from all structures, agencies, senior leaders and all,” Zulu said in the statement.
Zulu further alleged that the trial, to be heard for 20 consecutive days at the Scottburgh High Court on the KZN’s south coast, was resuming at the backdrop of failures to prosecute several political killings in the province.
He cited the recent withdrawal of charges against the suspected killers of Msawenkosi 'Maqatha' Mchunu from Pietermaritzburg structures of the ANC, Wandile 'Mangqasha' Ngobeni from Newcastle structures of the ANC and former eThekwini councillor, Sibusiso Maphumulo.
He also raised concerns that old cases of the killing of Zodwa Sibiya (eThekwini councillor), Sbu Sibiya (former ANC eThekwini regional secretary) Khaya Thobela (Mzimkhulu councillor), Mduduzi Tshibase (Mzimkhulu councillor), Sthe Mhlongo, Lungisani Mnguni, Wandile Mkhize, Zithulele Mshibe, Vusi Ntombela and Sbusiso Sithole (former Richmond municipal manager) remain unsolved.