Durban – The men who publicly alleged that uncovering corruption might have led to the murder of former African National Congress (ANC) Youth League secretary-general, Sindiso Magaqa, have finally undergone threat assessments to determine if they qualify for protection, they said on Tuesday.
Thabiso Zulu and Les Stuta also told African News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday evening that they continued to experience threats and intimidation while awaiting the results of the assessments, which were done jointly by national crime intelligence and state security in early December.
Stuta, an official at Harry Gwala District Municipality, said that on Saturday while driving in Kokstad with a friend, two vehicles pulled up alongside and started brandishing guns out of the window, taking aim.
“One car was a Ford Ranger with no number plates, the other was a Toyota Fortuna with an NIN number plate. I don’t know how we escaped. There was a white man -- a farmer -- who then came along the road in a Toyota bakkie, and he must have seen what was happening,” said Stuta, his voice shaking.
“It was not a good situation. They tried to get alongside me, but the farmer forced them to go -- I don’t know if he shot at them or what but I heard him shouting, he followed them,” said Stuta.
“I don’t know how I survived that, it all happened so quickly. I stopped and checked myself for blood to see if I had been shot, my friend had to tell me I was fine.”
Stuta said he informed the local police and national crime intelligence about the incident.
Zulu, an ANC member and anti-corruption activist, told ANA that it was thanks to the intervention of the Public Protector -- who decided to investigate the alleged corruption at uMzimkhulu Local Municipality on her own initiative -- that the assessments were finally done.
“Some time early in December we received a letter from the Public Protector’s office confirming that state security would conduct an assessment on us. Later, another letter arrived telling us that national crime intelligence would do it. Upon enquiring I was told that it would be a joint assessment by crime intelligence and state security. The assessment was done and the results are still pending,” said Zulu, adding that he continues to receive threats.
The men went public with the corruption allegations at Magaqa’s funeral in September last year, telling mourners that Magaqa had discovered multi-million rand corruption within uMzimkhulu and that this had led to his murder.
Magaqa, a PR councillor at the municipality at the time of his death, was shot along with colleagues Nontsikelelo Mafa and Jabu Msiya in the uMzimkhulu area in July 2017 but only died in September 2017 due to “complications from multiple gunshot wounds”. Mafa and Msiya both survived.
The evidence for the alleged corruption uncovered by Magaqa was contained in documents that he handed to Zulu before his death, copies of which Zulu handed to the Public Protector, Hawks, other law enforcement agencies and presented when he testified at the Moerane Commission in October.
uMzimkhulu municipality has dismissed any allegations of corruption as “a well orchestrated plot”.
African News Agency/ANA