Nkambule: 'Premier behind Mpumalanga political murders'

James Nkambule, chairperson of the Congress of the People (Cope) in Mpumalanga’s Ehlanzeni region, has accused Premier David Mabuza of being behind high-profile political murders in the province.

Speaking on Wednesday outside the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court, where he appeared on charges of defeating the ends of justice and conspiracy to commit fraud, Nkambule told reporters that he had been used as a scapegoat to divert attention from “the person who is behind the killings in the province”.

He added that he would not “shut up” until the truth was known about the alleged hit list targeting whistle-blowers in Mpumalanga.

“I am just a small lizard that is not capable of killing in this whole saga. The real crocodile that is capable of killing is hiding behind state resources in the premier’s office your Premier, David Mabuza. That crocodile should be the one attending court, not me,” he said.

He also accused Mabuza of using state resources to intimidate him.

“I have been followed around by a policeman in the past few weeks and he only disappeared after I called the crocodile to ask him to remove his dog from my behind,” he said.

Nkambule’s bail of R8 000 was extended until June 18.
He was arrested in March, weeks after releasing a statement that he said was made to him by an assassin called “Josh”.

In the statement Josh confessed to being the hit man behind several high-profile murders and attempted murders. Although the police have remained tight-lipped about the reasons for his arrest, it is assumed they believe that Nkambule has either fabricated the statement, the existence of a hit list or “Josh” himself.

In reaction Mabuza’s spokesperson, Mabutho Sithole, called Nkambule “crazy”.

“Nobody in his right mind can believe James, taking into account that in 2001, he accused [Tokyo] Sexwale, [Mathews] Phosa and [Cyril] Ramaphosa of trying to oust [Thabo] Mbeki,” he said.

Following that accusation, Nkambule was expelled from the ANC but was readmitted in 2004, before joining Cope last year. Outside court Nkambule said he did not rule out the possibility of returning to the ANC because Cope had become a “joke”.

“I am really disappointed with [Mbhazima] Shilowa for hijacking the party. I don’t support him and the way he wants to oust [Mosiuoa] Lekota. I also believe that this might be the end of Cope if they are not careful.”

Nkambule received a letter from Zale Madonsela, the party’s only member in the Mpumalanga legislature, dismissing him as an administrator in Cope’s constituency office.

Madonsela would not explain why she had fired Nkambule.—African Eye News Service

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