The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wanted to send a convicted assassin as part of its security detail to the party's conference this weekend, just four days after he was released on parole from Durban Westville prison.
Russel Ngubo, a former ANC branch chairman and senior prisons official, was jailed in 2005 for two murders committed in 1995. He was released on parole on Monday.
He was sentenced to 25 years for the murders of an IFP leader, Nash Ngubane and IFP supporter Amon Mshengu.
The Sunday Times can reveal that the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association wanted to send Ngubo to the conference, only to be stifled by his parole conditions. These require that Ngubo not leave the Msunduzi district of Pietermaritzburg.
"He would have gone, but one of the parole conditions is that he cannot leave Pietermaritzburg," said Willer Kheswa, chairman of the MKMVA's Moses Mabhida branch. Kheswa confirmed that Ngubo had been considered for the security detail and as a non-voting delegate.
"He is a member in good standing and a deployable cadre," said Kheswa. "You cannot discount his immense security expertise, and the ANC needs that."
The Sunday Times understands that sending Ngubo had already been considered in September in the expectation that he would be released on October 17.
This was confirmed by senior ANC member and MPL Amon Zondi, who was arranging Ngubo's political integration.
"He wanted to go and we all wanted him to go, but his stringent parole conditions dictated that he could not," said Zondi.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC head of security Vincent Madlala said he had heard about "a Ngubo from Maritzburg" being part of the security detail but knew nothing else about it.