Protest at ‘political’ murder

2013-03-12 00:00

RESIDENTS of Wembezi in Estcourt disrupted public transport yesterday morning to protest the murder of the ANC’s ward 3 branch chairperson, Sibusiso Majola (37), on Saturday night.

Ward councillor Duncan Magubane said Majola was at Mashanini grounds with his child when he was gunned down.

After the killing, residents became agitated and decided to protest.

The protesters said they had had enough of the killings in the area. They believe that the killings are politically motivated, but the police said there was no evidence of that.

Said a resident who declined to give her name: “This is the sixth murder reported to Wembezi police since March 1. This is not a war zone, but a place where we would like to see our children growing up in a decent manner. The sad part is that we, who are not even involved in this political squabble between the various parties, are also affected.”

The Witness has learnt that besides the six reported murders, there have also been four attempted murders in the same period.

Two suspects aged between 20 and 35 have been arrested for Majola’s death. They will appear in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court soon.

The resident said she was in a staff vehicle going to work at a school when they came across a barricade of burning tyres and could not proceed.

The atmosphere became tense and a team of senior police officers from Durban was deployed to calm the situation.

Magubane said people wanted a speedy conclusion of court cases involving killings in the area and that murder suspects must not be released to roam the streets because some of them would kill again once they were released.

Asked if the murder figures for this month were accurate, Magubane said: “It is true that since March 1 six murders were committed in various areas of Wembezi. During the same period, four attempted murders were also reported. We are working hard to find a long-term solution to this situation.”

ANC provincial spokesperson Senzo Mkhize condemned Majola’s killing and praised the police for making the arrests.

Asked if the recent killing was politically motivated, Mkhize said: “At the moment we are not sure of the suspects’ political affiliation. As soon as we get that information we will engage that party to craft a way forward to end this situation.”

Referring to the barricade of burning tyres, Mkhize urged residents not to harm others by their protest actions.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that the police were investigating six murder cases that had been reported already in March.

He said the victims had been shot in different parts of Wembezi.

“The motive for the murders is unknown and no political link has been established at this stage,” said Zwane.

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