SACP worried stolen file may lead to members’ ‘elimination’

2014-04-01 13:49

The Mpumalanga branch of the SA Communist Party (SACP) believes that the burglary in its provincial offices last night was politically motivated.

The SACP shares the offices in Emalahleni with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), but nothing belonging to the union was taken.

Provincial SACP spokesperson Lesetja Dikgale said there was a lot of valuable office equipment a common thief could steal from the SACP and NUM, but the thieves took an SACP-owned laptop and its membership file.

They also took a microwave and cleaning materials – items which the SACP believes were added to make the crime look like a common burglary.

“There were many valuable things to be stolen, but they took a membership file and that gets us very worried considering that people in this province are easily eliminated. Taking a file could mean that they want to identify our members and target them,” Dikgale said.

In a statement, Dikgale said it was a well-known fact that SACP members were targets of “lumpen tenderpreneurs”.

“We will continue to speak against corruption and any foreign tendency within the movement. We are suspicious that the burglary and vandalism are politically motivated. We note that some of the items stolen and see it as intended to intimidate and threaten the organisation and its leadership,” read the statement.

The SACP has always believed that its members were targets of intimidation and assassination for speaking out against corruption.

The party’s second deputy secretary, Mandla Tibane, was accosted by four vehicles and hijacked at gunpoint on May 16 last year while driving on the Witbank/Verena road.

Tibane’s vehicle was found intact two weeks later in Mamelodi.

On the day, the thugs allegedly asked Tibane: “Who are you to think you can politick in Mpumalanga?”

The incident prompted the party to send a plea to national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to review all the “political assassination cases” in Mpumalanga and release findings of her predecessor, Bheki Cele’s, 12-member task team.

Provincial SACP secretary and legislature member, Bonakele Majuba, has had a security detail in the past three years after he was tailed by suspicious vehicles and received death threats.

SACP members who were assassinated are former Mbombela council speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, and Bomber Ntshangase.

Mohlala was fatally shot in 2009 while exposing corruption in the building of the R1.2 billion Mbombela Stadium while Ntshangase was shot in 2010 for exposing corruption in the upgrading of hostels in Emzinoni, Bethal.

Finance MEC Madala Masuku – also a senior SACP member – had been tailed a few times while driving alone.

The situation has been so tense in the province that ANC members have also been threatened in recent times:

» Legislature member Clifford Mkasi received an intelligence report of a plot to assassinate him in 2012. This happened at the time he was being lobbied by ANC branches to stand as provincial ANC chairperson. Mkasi was fired as Health MEC during a Cabinet reshuffle.

» Former ANC provincial deputy chairperson Charles Makola also received threats and had to hire bodyguards. Like Mkasi, he was among those lobbied to be chairperson. He was also fired as the Nkangala district municipal manager.

» Former ANCYL provincial chairperson and Gert Sibande district mayor, Kgotso Motloung, also beefed up his security after receiving death threats. He was eventually axed as mayor after three months in the position for allegedly supporting expelled league president and now Economic Freedom Fighters commander-in-chief Julius Malema.

» Former SA consul-general to China and Mbombela mayor, Lassy Chiwayo, received threats for seeking justice in Mohlala’s murder. His luxury Porsche was burnt when his house was torched in 2012.

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