Shot politician's last SMS to Mbalula

2012-07-03 10:45
Wandile Mkhize. Picture: The Witness

Wandile Mkhize. Picture: The Witness

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Durban - Less than an hour before he was slain outside his South Coast home, ANC regional leader Wandile Mkhize sent Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula a heartfelt SMS about unity in the ruling party.

It was 21:08 on Saturday and the SMS read: “I will not speak for many. But my observation stems from the contradictions and how we handled things in the YL [ANC Youth League] when u comrades left.”

Mbalula is a former youth league president, who was succeeded by the Julius Malema, who was expelled earlier this year.

Mkhize was an ANCYL regional leader and last year unsuccessfully contested the post of ANCYL secretary general against Sindiso Magaqa, who was suspended from the ANCYL for a year.

Zuma supporter

Mbalula is widely reported to be among those who do not want President Jacob Zuma to be elected party leader for a second term, while Mkhize was a staunch supporter of Zuma who led delegates in song in support of the president at last week’s policy conference.

Mkhize’s SMS continued: “Other contradictions are informed by contest for space by former leaders of the YL within the ANC NEC.

“The stories and lies we fed as members to some of u in leadership further served to deepen the contradiction.

“But now Mbaks [Mbulala’s nickname] we are here. ANC and pipo [sic] beyond ANC need us united and focused. The more time we spend against each other the more we put our country in crisis. Am worried dat [sic] if we collectively don’t rise above what divide us, Mangaung [the ANC’s elective conference in December] will be worse than Polokwane and our movement and country will be at great risk.

“Mtchana I can [do] whatever I can to either bring JZ on board, or some senior leaders of KZN.

“Our movement lost the likes of [Jabu] Moloketi any many brains after Polokwane, we can’t afford to lose or sideline anyone anymore. We need u all.”

Mbalula’s ministerial spokesperson, Paena Galane, told The Witness: “The minister was shocked and disturbed when he heard that Wandile Mkhize was murdered because he had just received the SMS from him shortly before that.”

Mkhize died in a hail of bullets outside his Manaba home on Saturday night after returning from the policy conference. He sustained six gunshot wounds to his chest and lower abdomen.

Condolences


His brother Nkosi said mourners had streamed to his parents home.

“There have also been many messages of condolences coming in from all over the country.”

Those who personally telephoned included Zuma and Malema, he said. Visitors included Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, himself a former youth league president, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and a provincial delegation.

Gigaba, who was with Wandile at the policy conference, said: “We have been hit hard and where it hurts. Wandile and I have grown up together in the ANC. We have gone through the youth league and other structures of the party together.

“We have lost a promising rising star who was steadfast and principled with humility. He did not look for recognition or to occupy any office and would do anything for the ANC at any structure.”

No arrests have yet been made. Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela confirmed the unit was investigating the murder.

“We are trying our best to arrest the people responsible for this crime as soon as possible. At this stage we are looking at every piece of information available to us.”

The ANC and the Hibiscus Coast Municipality, where Mkhize served as ANC chief whip, are arranging an official funeral.

HCM spokesperson Simon Soboyisa said: “We are expecting over 5 000 mourners and comrades from all over the country to attend Wandile’s funeral on Sunday.”

The funeral will take place at the Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre.

Soboyisa said a special exco meeting would be held on Tuesday.

“As a municipality we have also arranged for a special memorial service at the Port Shepstone Civic Centre."

Nhlakanipho Shabane, a friend of Mkhize who was wounded in the shooting, is still in a critical condition in hospital.
 
Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  fikile mbalula  |  wandile mkhize  |  durban  |  politics

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