Bring on the hit - murdered businessman Bozwana's colleague

2015-11-24 07:27
Murdered businessman Wandile Bozwana. (NorthWestZA, Facebook)

Murdered businessman Wandile Bozwana. (NorthWestZA, Facebook)

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Pretoria - A business colleague of murdered North West businessman Wandile Bozwana has dared assassins to come after him following revelations of an alleged hit list.

Former Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality mayor Themba Gwabeni said he was prepared to take on hitmen and would "fight fire with fire".

Gwabeni's name allegedly appears on the list along with those of North West Business Forum secretary-general Sello Mogodiri and chairperson Fana Moraka. It is not clear how many names were on the list.

Police spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko, however, has said police were not aware of any hit list.

- More on this story: 'I am afraid I may also be killed but in Bozwana’s spirit I will fight on'

Bozwana, who was chairperson of the forum before his death, was apparently at the top of the list. He was murdered in October when he and another colleague were targeted on the N1 Garsfontein off-ramp in Pretoria.

A BMW M3 pulled up next to their car and a man jumped out and started shooting. The assailant then jumped back into his car and sped off. Bozwana was hit by at least nine bullets. He died in hospital while his female colleague survived.

Bozwana was outspoken against corruption in the North West.

The forum has in recent months strongly criticised the provincial government and Premier Supra Mahumapelo in particular for favouritism when awarding government contracts.

Two men, aged 30 and 40, have since been arrested in connection with Bozwana's murder.

- Read more: Detractors take fight to Supra Mahumapelo

Members of the forum believe a hit was ordered on Bozwana in a bid to silence him because he spoke out openly against corruption and the alleged blacklisting of some companies by the provincial government.

"I’m ready to fight fire with fire," said a defiant Gwabeni.

"We will see who dies between me and them. I have internalised this thing and if there is fire, I'm also going to exchange fire. I have accepted that you can't live your life while looking over your shoulder. If you get hit, you get hit.

"If we get killed in the course of seeking justice, then so be it. The show will, however, go on. We will not be intimidated."

Gwabeni said he had been advised by Mogodiri to be careful and beef up his security but he maintained that he would not live in fear in a democratic country.

"I briefed my family about it and told them that should anything happen, then so be it. I can't live in fear. One has taken a conscious decision that we can't be silent, we will continue to raise issues," he said.

- Read more: 'Bozwana’s killer shot me too'

Gwabeni said that despite the danger they would remain true to who they were and continue to fight against wrongdoing.

"We were demoralised by Bozwana's death but at least there has been a breakthrough. That is hope that should we also die, the perpetrators will be found.

"The architects of these things will be caught. Tyrants can't be allowed to do as they please. I wonder if those behind these will eat us after killing us?"

Gwabeni believed Bozwana's murder would open a can of worms that would expose other murders in the North West.

Mogodiri said the forum took the list seriously. He called on law enforcement agencies to protect its members.

Read more on:    supra mahumapelo  |  wandile bozwana  |  mahikeng  |  corruption  |  crime

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