One of Sindiso Magaqa's assassins identified, second suspect still at large

The Hawks were offering a reward of up to R450 000 for any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in the ongoing killings in the province. (PaulBotes/M&G)

The Hawks were offering a reward of up to R450 000 for any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in the ongoing killings in the province. (PaulBotes/M&G)

The Hawks have identified one former ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa’s assassins as a cash-in-transit robber who was killed in a shootout with police in the Kokstad area in southern KwaZulu-Natal.

They have also announced that they are now investigating 12 corruption cases linked to the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality, where Magaqa was serving as a councillor at the time of his death, and the Harry Gawala District Municipality under which Umzimkhulu falls.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said today that they are now searching for a second suspect following the positive identification of Jabulani Mdunge (38) as one of those responsible for the shooting of Magaqa and fellow councillors Nontsikelelo Mafa (27) and Jabu Msiya (44).

Mulaudzi said Mdunge, who had lived in Berea and in Durban’s KwaMashu Hostel, was part of a group of 10 armed robbers who were involved in a shootout with the SAPS on the N2 between Harding and Kokstad on September 1. Three of the men, who were allegedly on their way too carry out a cash in transit robbery, were killed and seven others arrested.

“Mdunge was allegedly killed during the shootout and has been identified and linked as one of the suspects that matched the profile through forensic intervention. Attempts to apprehend the second suspect are still underway,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘Magaqa died because he did not approve of looting’

He said the Hawks were offering a reward of up to R450 000 for any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in the ongoing killings in the province.

The Hawks task team in the province was investigation 24 murder cases related to political violence. A total of 35 suspects had been arrested in connection with 10 of the murders and a total of 28 firearms were seized.

The Hawks have also divulged that they have opened 12 corruption cases in the area, four of which are ready to go to court and four of which are under investigation. The other four have just been opened.

While the Mail and Guardian understands that some charges stem from the controversial R37-million Umzimkhulu Memorial Hall tender, which Magaqa had reported to the Hawks, Mulaudzi refused to be specific.

“The names of the affected municipalities what falls within the district municipality cannot be revealed to the unpredictability of the area as well as to closely protect the potential witnesses,” he said.

One of the cases was opened last year and the rest this year. They include theft, fraud, maladministration, bribery and corruption.

READ MORE: Magaqa gun may have been found

Acting Hawks head Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata said provincial heads had been instructed to ‘“wake to the reality that we need to at fast and with precision.”

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