EFF’s Babuile jailed for ANC leader’s murder

2014-11-26 21:03

North West Economic Freedom Fighters MPL Papiki Babuile will swap red overalls for orange ones after he was convicted for the 2012 murder of an ANC regional leader.

Babuile, who was an ANC Youth League chairperson at the time the crime was committed, was convicted for the murder of ANC Dr Kenneth Kaunda Regional secretary David Chika.

The latter was shot and killed at his house in Alabama, Klerksdorp, on December 14 2012 just two days before the ANC elective conference kicked off in Mangaung.

Earlier today the North Gauteng High Court sitting in Stilfontein outside Klerksdorp in the North West sentenced Babuile to 12 years imprisonment for Chika’s murder.

He was further slapped with eight years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit murder. Five of the eight years was suspended and the two sentences will run concurrently.

Sihlangu Sikhakhane, who is believed to have pulled the trigger, was sentenced to life imprisonment and acquitted of conspiracy to commit murder.

William Malefo, Bennet Kadi, Itumeleng Molebatsi and Jeffrey Letuka were all sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and eight years for conspiracy to commit murder.

Babuile and others were arrested last year together with former MEC for Local Government China Dodovu, who was acquitted of murder charges over a week ago. Dodovu has previously said his arrest was politically motivated, saying he was innocent.

Babuile, who has sang the same song seated next to Dodovu at a press conference they called in Johannesburg last year, did not manage to convince the court that he was indeed innocent. Charges were also dropped against another accused Paul Molomonyana.

Meanwhile, North West police commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo welcomed today’s sentences following a marathon trial that started on October 6.

“We would like to commend the entire criminal justice system team members that were involved in the case for ensuring that the accused get hefty sentences. This will definitely send a clear message that crime does not pay and that the police will not hesitate to deal with any person who transgresses the law,” said Mbombo.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi did not respond to messages seeking comment from his party on Babuile’s arrest. The party’s MP Hlengiwe Hlophe was quoted by the SABC as saying the EFF would appeal the court outcome because “we think this case has to do with politics of the North West”.

“After they have been sentenced, we are going to appeal and we hope that after the appeal everything is going to be changed because we think we have a [strong] case.”

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