Reinstate implicated speaker – SACP

2013-04-10 13:52

The SA Communist Party (SACP) in Mpumalanga has demanded that the ANC reinstate former Ehlanzeni district council speaker Milton Morema, who was demoted after being implicated in a murder case.

Morema was elected into the SACP provincial executive committee (PEC) last weekend and the party has informed the political council – a structure comprising officials of the tripartite alliance – of its conference resolution that Morema should be reinstated.

The ANC PEC demoted Morema to an ordinary councillor last August after he was implicated by one of the accused in the murder of Ehlanzeni chief whip, Johan Ndlovu.

Ndlovu was brutally murdered on January 5 2011 in Thulamahashe near Bushbuckridge and he was a strong contender to be the district’s executive mayor after the local government elections in May 2011. Morema had served as Bushbuckridge mayor for two consecutive terms.

SACP secretary Bonakele Majuba said the matter was now in the hands of the ANC’s PEC.

“We feel that Morema’s issue was handled in an unacceptable manner and we’re all agreeing that the ANC’s PEC decision wasn’t supported by facts. Morema was never arrested nor given a platform to prove his innocence,” Majuba said.

The accused, Mudi Khoza, alleged in an affidavit that was accepted by the Nelspruit circuit court last June that Morema was part of the plot.

Khoza said tavern owner Velaphi Ndlovu – who was the alleged middleman for Morema and ward councillor Douglas Mboweni – promised him and Bongani Mkasi R10 000 each and government tenders for the hit.

Khoza did, however, backtrack and said police had coerced him into making the statement.

The ANC PEC decided to demote Morema on recommendations from the Bohlabela regional executive committee where Morema comes from.

The region said it was the second time that Morema had been accused of murder – referring to a 2008 case in which Morema and his uncle, Erasmus Makhubedu, were accused of killing Jeffrey Sedibe when he tried to claim the R17 000 he was allegedly promised to kill political opponent Motion Mashile.

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

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi declined to clarify if police were investigating a case against Morema.

“We can’t talk of our intentions in the media,” Hlathi said.

One accused in the Ndlovu case, Life Khoza (not related), was found guilty of murder and armed robbery in October 2011 and is serving sentences of 20 years and 15 years respectively.

Bongani Mkasi (29) and Mudi Khoza have also been found guilty and will be sentenced on June 19.

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