ANC leader’s killers get 40 years, party to decide on speaker’s fate

2013-06-20 17:31

The ANC in Mpumalanga is still mulling over the SACP’s demand to reinstate a former council speaker who was demoted after being wrongfully implicated in a murder for which the killers were sentenced today.

The murderers of former Ehlanzeni ANC chief whip Johan Ndlovu were sentenced to an effective 40 years in jail today, Sapa reported.

Bongani Mkasi (30) and Mundi Khoza (26) had been found guilty of murder, armed robbery with aggravating circumstances and the possession of an illegal firearm.

Former Ehlanzeni council speaker Milton Morema was demoted by ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) members last August in the wake of allegations that he had been part of a plot that resulted in the fatal shooting of Ndlovu on January 5 2011.

The SACP in Mpumalanga has been fighting Morema’s battle – saying that the ANC’s decision to demote him was premature and not based on facts.

The SACP view Morema’s matter as a broader campaign against its members in the province, which it claims have been assassinated and threatened for standing up against corruption.

Said provincial ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa today: “We’re still considering this matter. The SACP has consulted us about it but we’ve not yet engaged. We’ll have a political council very soon to look into our relationship and the issue of Morema.”

Morema’s fall came about after Khoza had claimed in an affidavit that Morema had been involved.

Khoza later withdrew his statement and alleged that police had forced him to implicate Morema.

He had alleged in the affidavit that tavern owner Velaphi Ndlovu – who was said to be the middleman for Morema and ward councillor Douglas Mboweni – promised him and Bongani Mkasi R10 000 each and government tenders for the hit.

Life Khoza (24) was sentenced to 20 years and 15 years respectively for murder and armed robbery in 2011 after pleading guilty.

The ANC PEC acted after its Bohlabelo region recommended that Morema be recalled because it was the second time he had been accused of murder.

In 2008, Morema and his uncle, Erasmus Makhubedu, were accused of killing Jeffrey Sedibe when he tried to claim R17 000 he was allegedly promised to kill political opponent Motion Mashile.

That case was, however, struck off the roll after a key witness declined to testify.

When Ndlovu was brutally murdered, he was a strong contender to be the district’s executive mayor after the local government elections in May 2011.

The case raised eyebrows about political killings in the province because it followed the murder of former Mbombela speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, and Mpumalanga sport and culture spokesperson Sammy Mpatlanyane.

Mohlala was shot dead in January 2009 while exposing corruption in the R1.2-billion Mbombela stadium, while Mpatlanyane was killed in January the following year.

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