'Police are involved in covering up KZN political killings'
Durban - The ANC Youth League in KZN has called for a speedy wrap-up of the Moerane Commission of Inquiry, with hopes that the political killings in the province will stop.
One witness to the murders claims politicians will delay the release of the commission’s report because they do not want it in the public domain before the 2019 elections.
Two ANC members from the Moses Mabhida region were killed this week. The region’s ANCYL deputy secretary Sthembiso Mhlongo, 35, was shot dead on Thursday by attackers who had identified themselves to him as police officers. On Monday, Lungisani Mnguni, 34, was shot dead.
Former ANCYL secretary in the ANC’s Harry Gwala region, Thabiso Zulu, who testified before the commission, said the inquiry findings should have been tabled already. He claimed that murders continue due to this delay, with the report expected to be released next year, but with general elections taking place in 2019, this seems unlikely.
“It’s clear that the reason for the commission was that politicians wanted to know how much we know about what’s happening."
“There is also a link between corruption at various levels and the killings. The police themselves are involved in cover-ups and even in these recent incidents they will be involved in cover-ups. I don’t doubt that,” said Zulu.
He alleged that the investigation into the murder of KZN Lower South Coast ANC councillor Wandile Mkhize in 2012 had been botched because a police officer who had arrived first on the scene had not turned in a cellphone which he had picked up from one of the assailants, as part of the evidence.
“That case was repeatedly postponed and in the week it was supposed to sit in court, the police officer died in a car crash. That phone would have revealed who had ordered the hit,” Zulu said.
He also alleged there was a cover-up in the murder of former eThekwini regional secretary Sbu Sibiya in 2011.
That trial also kept getting pushed back and when it was about to be heard in court eventually the key witness was killed in the Eastern Cape.
“Why had the witness not been placed in witness protection?” asked Zulu, lamenting that police had still not arrested former ANCYL secretary Sindiso Magaqa’s killers despite police releasing identikits when one of Magaqa’s killers had allegedly died.
“This tells you there is quite a big cover-up. We’re saddened for the families that have lost loved ones. Those being killed are the youth, whom the nation hoped would grow into great leaders. Many of the victims were in leadership positions and had not even reached 40 years of age."
“This country faces a bleak future if the people who are the future are being killed like this,” said Zulu.
ANCYL KZN spokesperson Mandla Shange agreed: “We are hugely concerned particularly with the killing of young people who are members of the ANC Youth league who we believe are future leaders. Law enforcement agencies should be beefed up and the commission needs to be finalised so that we know how the investigation is going.”
Shange said the lack of arrests in the politically motivated killings spurred perpetrators to carry out their acts without any consequences.
“Our law enforcement should ensure there is a consequence management to bring the perpetrators to account for everything they have done.
“If there were people that had been caught and there were arrests, there would be minimal killings. These killings are interconnected, so the identification of one perpetrator will lead to finding other killers and this would put a stop to the killings,” Shange said.Independent On Saturday