KZN premier breaks silence on Mashaba assassination claims

2015-07-30 15:30
Provincial ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Provincial ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson and the province's premier, Senzo Mchunu, on Thursday broke his silence on allegations that he was behind the death of Thulani Mashaba, the uThungulu deputy mayor who died in a car accident earlier this month.

Mchunu, who was addressing 1 400 guests and delegates at Cosatu’s 12th Provincial Congress in Durban, also revealed the accident was now being investigated at a national level.

Mashaba, who was also the regional ANC chairperson of the Musa Dladla region, died when his BMW X5 crashed into a concrete barrier after the driver lost control on the N2 near the Ballito on-ramp.

"Shortly after that accident we experienced the shallowness and vulnerability of our unity because on social media, there was a lot of speculation which I regarded as poisonous. Our organisation was being torn apart by small poison," said Mchunu.  

"National has taken over the investigation into what factors led to that accident. It is painful to lose a cadre, especially one that is in a leadership position.

"What’s more painful is to add speculation onto that pain. Especially when that speculation says that that accident may have been caused by someone among ourselves. It is painful."

Mchunu said the investigation needed to be completed and the findings made public.

"The findings may not necessarily repair the damage done to the organisation. It’s painful to sit there among comrades and some of the fingers are pointing at you as the cause of an incident.

"It is very painful when other comrades change the words of revolutionary songs in a way that interprets certain feelings among comrades.

"The feelings are not based on facts or reality and those things are poisonous and harmful to the revolution. Instead of facing the tragedy, you are now facing one another and that is painful, regardless who it is meant to hurt, and destructive.

"We need to strengthen unity in the alliance and address the real issues, not the ones we cook among ourselves," said Mchunu.

Provincial Cosatu chairperson Beauty Zibula said Mchunu was a victim of character assassination. "If there are issues, let us sit and talk about it. There is no respect in the organisation. I always ask myself how many Julius Malemas do we have in this world?

"But I am finding that we have a lot of Julius Malemas within the organisation," said Zibula.  

Shortly after Mashaba’s death, a bodyguard working in Mchunu’s security detail was shot dead in Empangeni. Xolani Nkosi’s bullet-riddled body was discovered in a state vehicle.

His death fuelled speculation that it was a hit in retaliation to Mashaba’s death.

Unconfirmed reports said that security had been beefed up at Mchunu’s home, but the Office of the Premier on Wednesday dismissed the rumours.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Mchunu's office said: "The Premier does not appreciate the linking of the passing of one of his security guards to any conspiracy theories as stated in [various] articles. We are still awaiting the results of the police investigations regarding the death of Xolani Nkosi."

Read more on:    anc  |  senzo mchunu  |  durban  |  crime  |  politics

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