More arrests imminent in ANC assasination

2011-09-13 00:00

A SEA of yellow shirts filled Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court yesterday when ANC supporters came out in numbers to get a glimpse of the suspected murderer of ANC eThekwini secretary and councillor Sbu Sibiya.

Taxi-boss turned tenderpreneur Xolani Zulu (34) was escorted by several police officers as the crowd clambered on to the vehicle transporting him, hurling insults as he was whisked away to Westville Prison until his next appearance.

Sibiya was assassinated by unknown gunmen in July while returning from an ANC meeting.

Some within the ANC believe his killing was politically motivated and that it was linked to the contest for positions in the region, which will hold its elective conference later this month.

Lieutenant-Colonel Willie Olivier, who made the arrest, said Zulu hoped to make it big in the tender business. “We found him at a house he rented and he attempted to flee, but was successfully apprehended,” said Olivier.

Members of the elite Hawks unit and national intervention unit (NIU) swooped on other suspects allegedly linked to the same murder in Welbedacht earlier last week, but a shoot-out ensued between police and the suspects.

Warrant Officer Rakesh Maharaj and the suspects were killed, and two other policemen were seriously wounded.

One of the men killed, Zamani Sikhakhane, is alleged to have been the hitman hired to kill Sibiya, while the other, Bongani Tembe, was Sikhakhane’s landlord and not implicated in the assassination.

Police offered a R50 000 reward in an attempt to make a breakthrough in the investigation, and Zulu was subsequently arrested in Yellowwood Park near Chatsworth.

More high-profile arrests are imminent, according to sources close to the investigation.

Another ANC official, councillor Wiseman Mshibe, was shot dead in March this year.

At the time, Sibiya told media that Mshibe’s death was not politically motivated. He said it was not related to the 2011 local government elections.

At this stage it is not known which of the alleged hitmen actually pulled the trigger in the murder of Sibiya.

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