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Moerane Commission moves to protect witness as 'hit' claims swirl

21 July 2017 - 10:38 By Jeff Wicks
Gavel. File photo.
Gavel. File photo.
Image: Thinkstock

Claims that a hit has been placed on a key witness who testified at the Moerane Commission of Inquiry this week will be investigated by police.

This is the word of commission secretary Solo Mdledle‚ who was responding to a statement released by community activist Vanessa Burger – who detailed how the man’s identity had been leaked from the commission and how his life was under threat. The commission was established to probe political violence across KwaZulu-Natal‚ but this week testimony focused on Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi.

Scores of people have been killed in the hostel‚ which was described as a haven for hitmen and criminals. Burger suggested that as many as 90 people had been killed either at the hostel‚ or in hits linked to the volatile precinct.

In a statement released by Burger on Friday‚ she said the man had testified on Monday.

“After testifying at the commission‚ the rogue cop contacted the witness and tried to blackmail him. He threatened to frame him for crimes he didn’t commit to force his silence‚” she said.

“The witness‚ who has been in hiding‚ then received a suspicious call. Police called him at work and asked him to meet them to discuss the Moerane Commission’s planned visit to Glebelands on Friday.”

She said that “sources” at the hostel confirmed that a hit had been placed on the witness.

Mdledle confirmed that Burger had brought allegations of the hit to their attention.

“The witness himself has not called us to complain that his life is being threatened but we are in direct contact with him‚” he said.

“We have not investigated that claim as yet and there were also similar claims made the day after the witness testified.”

Mdledle said that it would be reported to the police to ensure the safety of the man.

“We will bring it to the attention of the police so we can ensure the protection of the witness. Obviously the situation in Glebelands‚ according to the witnesses‚ is life-threatening‚” he added.

- TimesLIVE