Durban - The men who made public allegations of corruption contained in documentation received from their friend and slain African National Congress (ANC) Councillor Sindiso Magaqa, now live in fear as they are still without any form of protection.
Thabiso Zulu and Les Stuta told the African News Agency (ANA) on Thursday that they had not yet undergone "threat assessments" by the police in order to ascertain if they qualify for protection
Zulu said that his life had “totally changed” since he stated publicly that he believed the former ANC Youth League secretary general was killed because he had uncovered alleged corruption at uMzimkhulu Municipality in which several officials were implicated.
“I no longer travel alone. I no longer go to meetings as I used to do, I no longer accept meeting request from strangers even if they claim to have crucial information on corruption,” said Zulu, a card-carrying ANC member who describes himself as an anti-corruption activist.
Magaqa, the former ANC Youth League secretary general, died on 5 September, following a shooting incident in July.
Fearful Zulu said he no longer lives in the same place and uses different phones as a safety precaution. Both men believe their calls have been monitored.
In his testimony before the Moerane Commission last month, Zulu outlined graft allegations totalling millions of rand contained in documentation he had received from Magaqa. Copies of the documentation have been handed to the Hawks.
Stuta, an official at Harry Gwala municipality, made similar allegations to Zulu at Magaqa’s funeral. Stuta said he had been contacted by SAPS as part of its investigations and was told he would be contacted again for a threat assessment. That was in September, he said, and he is still waiting.
“The threats are there. I have moved from my home in uMzimkhulu to Kokstad. It’s not safe at uMzimkhulu anymore. I drive to work every day,” he said.
“This is affecting my family, my children remind me to put on the alarm at night. It’s painful.”
Stuta says he is unwilling to leave his children to go into witness protection. “Whatever is happening here, we have to fight it here through the right channels and forces. Law enforcement must do their work. I can’t run away from this situation.”
Zulu says he is also unwilling to consider witness protection. “I am assisting in very sensitive investigations on fraud and corruption, I don't want to lose track of them, I also don't want to lose track of my sources,” he said.
Zulu says he was approached by an official from the KZN department of transport, community safety and liaison at Magaqa’s funeral and told he would receive protection, but nothing came of that. Stuta said he had liaised with the same department and had heard nothing further.
Spokesperson for the department, Mluleki Mtungwa, said it was the responsibility of the police to provide threat assessments and protection for the two, but that the department would “look into the matter and follow-up”.
When asked about security for Zulu by ANA last week, SAPS KZN told ANA: “The police don't provide personal security guards to private citizens.”
ANC KZN secretary, Super Zuma, told ANA that the party doesn’t provide protection for “ordinary ANC members”. He did say, however, that the Councillors who were shot and wounded at the same time as Magaqa, Jabu Mzizi-Msiya and Nontsikelelo Mafa, had been allocated safety by the municipality.
Solo Mdledle, spokesperson for the Moerane Commission, told ANA that there had been a delay in securing protection for Msiya and Mafa because “the Councillors objected to the security company that had been sourced through a tender process to guard all Councillors. They wanted their own.”