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Sindiso Magaqa's close friend Thabiso Zulu in hiding after assassination attempt

28 October 2019 - 18:22 By Orrin Singh
Thabiso Zulu, whistleblower and friend of Sindiso Magaqa, is in hiding after an attempt on his life over the weekend.
Thabiso Zulu, whistleblower and friend of Sindiso Magaqa, is in hiding after an attempt on his life over the weekend.
Image: Supplied

A close friend of slain ANC Youth League leader Sindiso Magaqa has discharged himself from hospital and gone into hiding following a failed attempt on his life on Saturday.

Thabiso Zulu, who testified at the Moerane Commission into political killings in the ANC last year, narrowly escaped a gun attack in Copesville, Pietermaritzburg.

Zulu was shot once in the arm, while another bullet grazed part of his chest.

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Monday, he said he had discharged himself from hospital, despite suffering a serious wound to his left arm.

Zulu said he couldn't recall the number of shots that were fired. However, he was told by those who visited the scene the following day that between 20 and 30 cartridges were found - including some from high-calibre weapons.

He said he discharged himself from hospital because he feared for his life: “I was afraid that they were going to follow me to the hospital and finish me off there, or that I would have been poisoned in hospital - something which has happened to other people.”

Zulu said the ANC needed to intervene urgently, adding that while he would never go against the party, he was disappointed about how he had been treated.

His sentiments were expressed just minutes after KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said the provincial ANC chairman had promised an urgent intervention to deal with the matter, as well as support and protection for Zulu.

“I had been promised protection yesterday," said Zulu. "It's now 28 hours down the line. No one has made contact with me. Instead they want to make public statements. Do they know where I am going to sleep tonight? Do they know if I am going to be alive tomorrow?”

Two weeks ago, Zulu stated publicly that he was aware of an assassination plot on his life. He said reports by the public protector, Crime Intelligence and state security all suggested that he be placed under protection.

“The people that are stopping and making sure that I am not getting protection is SAPS. Crime Intelligence did their work and they are fine, they have no issues. I have stepped on too many people's toes in the Moerane Commission and my pronouncement in public.”

Lirandzu Thembe, spokesperson for police minister Bheki Cele, said the review application brought by Cele against the findings and recommendations of the public protector is still due to be heard by the North Gauteng High Court.

“The minister of police still holds the view that the protection of any witness is the responsibility of the department of justice and constitutional development, in accordance with the Witness Protection Act. Therefore it's not the responsibility of the South African Police Service to provide such and it has never been,” she said.

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