Cops raid Zweli Mkhize's house

2018-10-10 09:49
Zweli Mkhize

Zweli Mkhize

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The task team investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal has swooped on the Willowfountain home of Minister Zweli Mkhize.

The operation formed part of an investigation into the role of private security companies in political assassinations, and a security guard at Mkhize’s home is believed to have been arrested and illegal firearms confiscated.

A neighbour said police “came in a convoy, it was about 10 vehicles. They had a brief chat with the security guards before they went inside the home.”

A source close to the task team’s investigation confirmed the raid, which is said to have taken place on September 28 but has been kept under wraps.

The source said: “I was told that a suspect had been arrested and illegal firearms were confiscated. The minister was not at home when members of the task team arrived but some of his family members were at home.

“What I was told is that the target of the police raid was not the minister per se but rather the security company that is guarding his house.”

Mkhize, a former KZN premier and now minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, disputed that the investigators’ visit to his home amounted to a raid.

“The police did not raid the house as such but approached security,” Mkhize’s spokesperson, Musa Zondi, said. “The police came to the residence and the information that Minister Mkhize received is that they are investigating private security companies. They questioned the guy at the residence deployed by the private security company. The minister has directed all to co-operate with the police,” he said.

Mkhize encouraged members of the task team to do whatever was necessary to address the problem of political killings in the province.

“The issue of killings in the province is serious and needs to be dealt with and he fully supports anything that the police are doing to arrest the scourge,” Zondi said.

The task team, which was established by President Cyril Ramaphosa in June following a spate of political killings in the province, has made a series of arrests in recent weeks.

According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, the number of people arrested in connection with the political killings that had been taking place in the province since 2012 stood at 23 by September 13. The investigators have also raided the home of uMgungundlovu deputy mayor Fucwana Zungu, in KwaPata near Imbali.

The Pietermaritzburg home of Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane is also said to have been raided by the task team. The raids follow the release of the Moerane Commission report into political killings in the province by KZN Premier Willies Mchunu late last month.

The bulky report, which includes statements by witnesses who testified at the commission early this year, blames the assassination of about 100 people in the province on the fight for municipal tenders and jobs.

High-profile people assassinated in the province include former ANCYL secretary-general and Mzimkhulu Municipality councillor Sindiso Magaqa and ANC Pietermaritzburg activist Musawenkosi “Maqatha” Mchunu, who was gunned down on the driveway of his KwaPata home in May.

Two people have been arrested in connection with Magaqa’s murder while six accused, including Zungu’s son, Gift, and her nephew, Nkosinathi Gambu, will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court tomorrow in connection with Mchunu’s murder.

While Zungu has confirmed the raids at her home in KwaPata, Dlungwane did not respond to queries on the raids.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo declined to comment on the raids, saying the task team’s investigation was at a sensitive stage.

Former KZN premier Senzo Mchunu said the commission’s report drew a clear link between internal party conflicts and political killings in the province.

“It demonstrates high levels of intolerance where individuals are prepared to kill those they differ with,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  zweli mkhize

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