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Fighting corruption in KZN ‘a one-way ticket to hell or heaven’‚ commission hears

12 October 2017 - 15:33 By Bongani Mthethwa
Slain ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa.
Slain ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa.
Image: Leratu Maduna/Gallo Images/Foto24

A close friend of slain ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa has told the Moerane Commission investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal that Magaqa was killed for fighting corruption.

Thabiso Zulu‚ a former ANCYL regional secretary who worked closely with Magaqa while he was ANCYL regional chairman in Umzimkhulu‚ was giving evidence for the second day before the commission in Durban on Thursday.

He said fighting corruption in the province was equal to applying for “a one-way ticket to hell or heaven‚ depending on where you will go”.

“Comrade Magaqa is dead now. He was fighting against corruption. Anyone who wants to create another story‚ that person is lying. Comrade Magaqa was killed solely because he was fighting corruption.”

Zulu also rubbished claims by EFF leader Julius Malema that Magaqa was considering joining the red berets.

He said rumours that Magaqa was considering joining the EFF were meant to tarnish his legacy.

“After Magaqa got shot there were rumours that I think tainted his legacy and I wouldn’t allow that to happen while I am still alive. Magaqa never intended to join the EFF. Not ever. If that is allowed to happen‚ it even changes why he was killed. Some people will start saying that he was killed by the ANC because the ANC suspected that he was planning to jump ship to the EFF‚” said Zulu.

However‚ he confirmed that Magaqa had been approached by certain EFF leaders who coaxed him to join the party in exchange of the position of the EFF secretary general.

“Yes‚ we can confirm that in February certain leaders of the EFF came to him and offered him that if he joined the EFF he would be made secretary general. But he refused.” Zulu said Magaqa had told the person he was talking to that he would not join the party and that he would die ANC as his blood was black‚ green and gold.

“So he was never intending to join the EFF. Whoever is saying that is intending to taint the legacy of Magaqa and we will never allow that.”

Shortly after Malema graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Philosophy last month‚ he said he had asked Magaqa repeatedly to join the EFF as a regional organiser.

He further claimed that before Magaqa died‚ he had indicated that he wanted to discuss the matter with his wife before taking a final decision.

Magaqa and fellow ANC councillors from Umzimkhulu Municipality were attacked on July 13 as they got out of the car to go to a shop. Magaqa was recovering in hospital‚ but died later after complaining of stomach pains.

Zulu told the commission that political killings in the province had to do with a fight for positions in the ANC.

“We can’t kill each other for positions. Yes‚ in these days to get a position means that you are going to have a better life. Being a chairperson gives you a chance to become a councillor. That’s the understanding lately. Being the chairman of the region gives a chance of becoming a mayor of the district. Being in the PEC in the province gives you the chance of being an MEC. Serving in national gives a chance of being a minister. But we can’t finish umbutho kaThambo [Oliver Tambo’s organisation] for the sake of positions‚” he said.

He also lashed out at ANC leaders for only attending a fallen comrade’s funeral and disappearing for good afterwards‚ saying Magaqa would be forgotten after his death

“Comrade Magaqa is dead now. Magaqa will be forgotten now. Magaqa’s children will starve now because that’s how my organisation does things now.

The only time they go to your family is when there is your funeral. They will make speeches and promise that your children will never starve but that will be the end. The only time they will revoke your name will be when they are campaigning for a conference trying to win votes of people that loved you‚” he said.