Suspect arrested in Sindiso Magaqa murder

Sindiso Magaqa, a proportional representation councillor on the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality, died last September after being shot and wounded in an ambush two months earlier. (Gallo)

Sindiso Magaqa, a proportional representation councillor on the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality, died last September after being shot and wounded in an ambush two months earlier. (Gallo)

A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of former ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, almost a year after he died after being shot in an ambush near his home in Umzimkhulu in southern KwaZulu-Natal.

At the time of writing the suspect, who was arrested by the Hawks earlier in the week, was appearing in the Umzimkhulu magistrates court, on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Reneilwe Serero, spokesperson for Minister of Police Bheki Cele, confirmed the arrest and said Cele would provide more detail in a briefing on Thursday.

A second suspect in the murder, which brought the wave of political killings in the province exacerbating the internal tensions raging in the governing party in the province since 2015, was, according to the SAPS, shot dead by police in a foiled cash in transit heist last year.

Magaqa, a proportional representation councillor on the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality, died last September after being shot and wounded in an ambush two months earlier.

Magaqa and fellow ANC councillors Jabulile Mzizi and Nonsikelelo Mafa were wounded in a hail of bullets fired into his car, in which the three were sitting after attending an ANC branch meeting at Ncambeble Primary School near Kokstad.

Magaqa survived the initial assassination attempt but died from his injuries in hospital in Durban.

At the time his family claimed that he had been poisoned, but a post mortem found this was not the case.

At Magaqa’s funeral his comrades and friends claimed that his murder was sparked by his blowing the whistle on corruption in the refurbishment of the Umzimkhulu Memorial Hall to the tune of R37 million. 

Evidence that the killers may have been recruited at Durban’s Glebelands Hostel was presented to the Moerane Commission into political killings in the province, whose report will soon be made public.

Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane is currently investigating the corruption allegations.

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