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#MoeraneCommission must withstand political pressure, pleads witness

The friend of slain former ANCYL secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa on Thursday told commissioners investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal he hopes they will withstand political pressure that seeks to keep their final report under wraps.

Thabiso Zulu concluded his two-day testimony before the Moerane Commission. 

In often emotional and angry accounts, he outlined the rot in municipalities falling under the Harry Gwala district municipality and the region’s ANC.

“I hope you can take the pressure from politicians who might ask the commission not to release the report because they say it could disrupt the 2019 elections. 

“They are under siege and under pressure and [will think that] releasing the report will affect votes,” he said.

Zulu, a former ANC Youth League leader who describes himself as a crusader against corruption. alleged that Magaqa – a PR councillor at uMzimkhulu local municipality at the time of his death – was gunned down because he discovered corruption within uMzimkhulu, which falls under Harry Gwala district municipality.

An often-agitated Zulu laid out numerous documents on the desk before him while giving testimony, sometimes angrily shaking papers clutched in his fist while referring to them. During breaks, he packed the documents into a large container and carried it away.

Zulu has alleged that he is possession of documentation – received from Magaqa – outlining corruption in the multi-million rand refurbishment of a community hall in uMzimkhulu. He said that since going public with the allegations he has still not received protection.

“We came here [to testify], we risked and sacrificed our lives, I’m not even sure if I will get to 2019, but I’m proud that I stood for the truth,” he said.  

“Magaqa is dead, he will be forgotten …The only time they will use your name is when they campaign for conferences.”

KwaZulu-Natal has experienced dozens of politically linked killings over the past years, prompting premier Willies Mchunu to establish the Moerane Commission of enquiry in October last year. It is tasked with investigating politically linked violence, including murders, since 2011.

Zulu dismissed notions of a “third force” being behind the killings; something provincial ANC leadership has stated must be investigated. 

“There is no third force. Comrades are killing each other because they want tenders and are contesting positions.”


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