SACP call on Zuma to step in

2010-05-07 00:00

THE South African Communist Party (SACP) in KwaZulu-Natal will be approaching the office of President Jacob Zuma to ask for his intervention on resurfacing reports about a plot to assassinate KwaZulu-Natal Premier and ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize.

At a press conference held in Durban yesterday, SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu said the communists will write to President Zuma and Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Hadebe to urge them to appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate the alleged plot.

The SACP’s call comes just a day after another ANC alliance organisation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), issued a similar statement.

Reports about a “plot” to assassinate Mkhize resurfaced last week after the arrest of a self-confessed hit man, Sizwe Mkhize, near Pinetown, for the possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.

He appeared in court with four co-accused and they are expected to appear again in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

In 2007, Sizwe Mkhize was put under a witness protection programme after alleging that he was paid R150 000 to kill the premier, who was then the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson and Finance and Economic Development MEC.

The hit man implicated a top KZN ANC leader in the plot.

Members of the South African Police Force (SAPF) Dog Unit arrested Sizwe Mkhize and the other four accused on Thursday last week, near Hillcrest, after a tip-off from crime intelligence.

After his arrest, the case was ta­ken over by the Hawks for further investigation to establish where the five were heading at the time of their arrest and what they were going to do.

The police have declined to comment on whether the investigation is centred around an allegation that the five were on a mission to assassinate the premier.

SAPF spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe said the five are facing charges for the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Radebe said the case has been referred to the Hawks to investigate whether the suspects are linked to other crimes.

The four suspects who were arrested with Sizwe Mkhize are Themba Xaba, Jackson Chili, Mlungisi Xulu and Sithembiso Mthembu, who are all from townships in the Durban area.

In a statement, the SACP said it wants a commission of inquiry to investigate thoroughly who is behind Sizwe Mkhize’s plot and how he was exonerated from his earlier arrest in the plot to assassinate Mkhize.

“We are fed up about Sizwe Mkhize’s activities because these conspiracies are a recipe for the re-emergence of violence in KwaZulu-Natal. If these things are not taken seriously, they could plunge the province into another internecine war which was experienced in the 1980s and early 1990s,” Mthembu said.

Spokesperson for the Premier Mkhize, Ndabezindle Sibiya, said: “The suspect has no relations with the premier and his family, and they have never employed him. The allegations are untrue and bring the name of the premier and the office he occupies into disrepute.”

In light of the calls made by the SACP and Cosatu for the institution of a commission of inquiry, Sibiya said the premier had no comment.

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