ANC man accused of murder

2016-08-24 06:00

ZONISELO MAGAWU (29) appeared in the Postmasburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday (22/08) and was charged with the murder of DA councillor Johannes Baaitjie and the attempted murder of his business partner.

Magawu, an ANC councillor candidate, was arrested on Friday (19/08) after the discovery of Baaitjie’s body, bearing gun shot wounds, was made near Groenwater on Thursday (18/08).

According to an article written by Anena Burger in last week’s Volksblad, parent publication of Express Northern Cape, Andrew Louw, DA leader in the province, revealed that Baaitjie’s wife had said he had received a call from someone on Wednesday (17/08) who had wanted to see him.

Louw added that Baaitjie was last seen between 17:30 and 18:00 on the day. His wife became concerned when he did not return home later.

She reportedly called the DA office and the police, which led to a search party being called and which led to the discovery.

According to the Hawks, a preliminary investigation revealed that the 49-year-old victim had been unsuspectingly lured into a death trap.

“Baaitjie took his business associate with him to assist him in a business meeting that had been arranged. His associate is still in critical condition in a local hospital,” said Brig. Hangwani Mulaudzi of the Hawks.

The case was postponed until 29 August for bail application while further investigation continues.

Meanwhile, the suspect remains in custody. He has also been implicated in armed robbery cases.

Harold McGluwa, the DA’s chairperson in the Northern Cape, has welcomed the arrest of a suspect and the swift response by the police in the arrest.

He added that the DA was assisting the Baaitjie family with memorial services that would be conducted throughout the course of the week, as well as the funeral scheduled for Saturday (27/08).

“Johannes Baaitjie was a dedicated and a hard-working man whom we will dearly miss. His murder will not be in vain,” said McGluva.

“We pray for strength for his family during this difficult time, as well as for the full recovery of his friend, who was also seriously injured by the perpetrator(s) of this crime and remains in a serious condition in hospital.

“It must serve to open the eyes of the nation to the extreme rot and loss of values that has manifested itself within those who govern by greed and desperately seek to cling onto power.”

The DA in the Northern Cape promised it would work harder than ever before to spread the message of clean governance, increased job creation and improved service delivery.

“We will also be contesting the by-election in Danielskuil, Ward 2, to fill the vacancy created by Baaitjie’s passing – we will not allow dark forces to stop us from creating a society in which our values of freedom, fairness and opportunity are entrenched.”

Zamani Saul, ANC provincial secretary, condemned any form of criminality and promised that its disciplinary code as stipulated in Rule 25, management of organisational discipline, would be applicable immediately if the allegations levelled against Magawu were proven to be true.

The ANC called for calm and pleaded with the community to allow for the court process to take place.

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