Killers are from ‘within’


Protestors said they knew all along that Mchunu’s murder was from “within” as he had been a fierce voice against corruption and maladministration at both Msunduzi and uMgungundlovu municipalities.

Gift Zungu, son of Umgungundlovu District Municipality deputy mayor Fucwana Zungu, and Msunduzi councillor Nkosinathi Gambu (the nephew of the deputy mayor) were amongst the six suspects arrested on Sunday for Mchunu’s murder. Mchunu was the Ward 10 ANC branch convenor and also previously worked in the Speaker’s Office at the Msunduzi Municipality.

The other suspects who appeared in court were Newton Zimu, Sifiso Mbelu, Mlungisi Zimu and Ayanda Ngubane.

Amongst those present in court on Monday were Sandile Dlamini, Thulani Xulu, Siyabonga Hlongwa and Mtuza Mkhize, who have been equally vocal in the criticism of corruption and nepotism at both municipalities.

Hlongwa said they were glad to see some action from the police following the arrests.

“We have been saying for a while that the killing of our comrades in Moses Mabhida appears to be the work from within. We just hope that justice will be served in the end because Maqatha did not deserve to die, but because he had been one of the vocal critics of the problems in the municipality, his life was threatened,” said Hlongwa.

Mchunu was shot dead while exiting his vehicle at his home at KwaPata in May 11 with his killing sending throughout KZN. President Cyril Ramaphosa was one of the leaders who visited the family following the killing.

Monday’s arrests follows investigations by a special police task team probing political murders in KZN.

State prosecutor Rene Padaychee told the court that the state intended to oppose bail as the accused’s profiles and details needed to be verified. Mtuza Mkhize constantly appealed for calm from the crowd. “Let us demonstrate discipline and provide support to the family,” said Mkhize to the crowd.

Magistrate Ashin Singh said the accused needed to show “exceptional circumstances” citing the seriousness of the offences the group of men are facing. They were remanded into custody until their bail hearing.

The arrests come in the wake of the Moerane Commission into political killings in KZN being handed to Premier Willies Mchunu three months ago. The commission was established in 2016 to probe a spate of politically related murders in KZN.

Outside the court, people could be seen waving banners of the ANC and South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco), the two organisations in which Mchunu was an activist.

ANC spokesperson, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, said the ruling party believes in the rule of law and has confidence in the criminal justice system.

“Whilst the principle of innocent-until-proven-guilty is acknowledged in a democratic society such as ours, the ANC believes that the allegations are extremely serious and deserves our special attention. This is informed by the fact the province of KwaZulu Natal has experienced the killing of politicians and with many of our comrades becoming victims,” said the Simelane-Zulu.

Also read: Arrests send shockwaves through KZN

She added that the ANC supports all efforts of law enforcement agencies aimed at getting into the root cause of these killings and were hopeful that the justice system will do its work independently and with speed.

“Finalizing this matter quickly will allow the ANC to start its internal disciplinary process in order to send a strong message, where it’s necessary,” she concluded.


Eyethu news reporter

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