Johannesburg - The EFF in Gauteng are calling for the police to return one of its members, Zuzile Bengu who was last seen on the day of the national shutdown last Monday.
In a statement EFF leader in Gauteng, Nkululeko Dunga said the party is concerned and disturbed about Bengu’s unexplained disappearance, with the police unable to answer to his whereabouts after he was last spotted in police custody in Thokoza over eight days ago.
At the time, Bengu was alleged to have been badly injured after he was detained by the police in the area.
“We as the EFF in the province are badly disturbed and concerned by the disappearance of Mr Zuzile Bengu who went missing on the day of the national shutdown that took place on Monday, March 20, 2023. He was last seen in Thokoza, badly injured and in the custody of officers from the SAPS and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan department,” Dunga said.
Dunga said they have been given the run around by the police who are not coming clean with what happened to their colleague, adding that what he termed heavy-handedness by police during the protests could be behind Bengu’s disappearance.
Dunga said they would meet with Bengu’s family tomorrow to discuss lodging a missing person report with the SAPS, which has not yet been done.
"The EFF leadership has been searching for Bengu at police stations, clinics and hospitals across the Ekurhuleni region without success. More recently we were told that he is at the Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital. Upon enquiring with the hospital, we found there was no record of him being there. We were then told he is at Ramokonopi police station but he cannot be seen. Today (27 March) we are told he appeared in court and he is being sent to Boksburg prison,“ Dunga added.
Dunga said he fears that the state is concealing Bengu’s whereabouts on purpose.
“The state appears to be actively concealing the truth about Zuzile’s disappearance. They refuse to communicate with his family or the organisation ... The police have a duty to protect the community. They are mandated to enforce public safety and rule of law, not to abduct citizens and engage in nefarious illegal activities,” he said.
Spokesperson for the SAPS, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the police were not aware of the disappearance of Bengu. Mathe requested a case number to track and trace if Bengu has appeared in court or reported missing.
“I have checked with Brigadier Mavela Masondo and there has been nothing about this matter from his side. Perhaps provide us with a case number,” Brigadier Mathe said.