ANC KZN: We didn’t turn a blind eye to violence and corruption

The ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal leadership has wrapped up its evidence of the Moerane Commission into the killing of political office bearers by rebutting claims by the SACP and its own members that it had turned a blind eye to violence and corruption.

Chairperson Sihle Zikalala, secretary Super Zuma and deputy secretary Mluleki Ndobe all played down suggestions that violence had spiralled out of control under their watch, arguing that they had inherited a violent society conditioned to use force to settle political disputes.

Zikalala and Zuma, in response to questions from evidence leaders Advocate Bheki Nyathi, said that claims ANC eThekwini secretary S’bu Sibiya was killed as part of a plan to take over the region from the leadership headed by then chairperson James Nxumalo, Zuma said that ‘’nobody was killed’’ in the run up to the 2015 eThekwini conference despite several failed efforts.

‘’We need to be factual,’’ Zuma said. ‘’Who was killed in that process? Nobody was killed.’

They also denied that a ‘’network of patronage’’ ran from ANC national structures to the branches and back.

‘’It cannot be that we sit and plan how we are going to direct issues in a particular region or municipality. It is just a view that cannot be backed up by any factual reality on the ground,’’ Zuma said.

They also denied claims by ANC activist Thabiso Zulu, a friend of murdered uMzimkhulu councillor Sindiso Magaqa, that they had been forced out of the 2008 Harry Gwala region conference, saying they had chosen to leave along with some branches.

Zuma said there was ‘’no correlation’’ between those tensions and the current wave of killings in the municipality.

Zuma said there were ‘’issues’’ at uMzimkhulu relating to alleged corruption and that ANC members in the area ‘’suspect eachother’’ over the killings, which include the murder of speaker Khaya Thobela two months before Magaqa.

Zuma said the postponement of the Harry Gwala regional conference till next year would help defuse tensions.

Zuma said that at Intshanga, both ANC and SACP members had been killed and denied claims that the leadership had not attempted to end the conflict.

Zikalala denied claims that state intelligence agencies were being used in ANC dsputes.

‘’We always strive to maintain the independence of the state organs including the state security apparatus. We can’t be the ones who are complaining about their role in the previous era of apartheid and then come and do the same,’’ Zikalala said.

Zikalala and Zuma also defended their assertion that a Third Force may be involved in the violence, saying this needed to be properly investigated.

‘’External forces,’’ Zikalala said, would benefit from the ‘’weakening of the ANC.’’

The Commission is set to extend its life by several months to make up for time lost between its proclamation last year and its first hearing in February. Commission secretary Solo Mdledle said they had approached Premier Willies Mchunu for an extension which Cabinet had approved. They were waiting for the official proclamation to be gazetted.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper

Related stories

Well-connected accountant coins it

Roshan Morar’s extensive links with government are deep and lucrative: a 300% ballooning tender; the nod for an ambassador’s post from ANC secretary general Ace Magashule; seats on the boards of a multitude of public entities and now a questionable PPE tender

Extract: Mandy Wiener’s ‘The Whistleblowers’ shows the cost of speaking out

In this extract from journalist Mandy Wiener’s latest book she examines the death of ANC Youth League member Sindiso Magaqa in KwaZulu-Natal

ANC still at odds over how to tackle leaders facing serious graft allegations

The ANC’s top six has been mandated to work closely with its integrity committee to tackle claims of corruption against senior party members

Dumpsite fire that smoked out Pietermaritzburg is finally out

Firefighters have finally extinguished the fire at the New England Road landfill site in Pietermaritzburg, which had engulfed the KwaZulu-Natal capital in thick clouds of toxic smoke since it flared up more than a week ago

KwaZulu-Natal is emerging as a new Covid-19 epicentre

Large groups attending funerals and people delaying being tested and treated because they fear dying in hospital has contributed to a spike in coronavirus infections in KZN

Pay our Ters, with immediate effect

The president moved pretty fast to shut down the boozers, but he’s dragging his heels when it comes to sorting out the UIF

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

WSU suspends classes and exams to avoid the spread of...

The university says it has to take the precautionary measures because 26 students have tested positive on its East London campus

Entrepreneurs strike Covid gold

Some enterprising people found ways for their ventures to survive the strictest lockdown levels

Ithala backs its embattled chairperson

Roshan Morar is being investigated in connection with KwaZulu-Natal education department backpack sanitiser tender worth R4-million and a batch of face masks that vanished

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza: Liberating Africa from land of liberté

The cultural and political activist is on a quest to bring looted treasures back home

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday