Gunshot survivor tells Moerane Commission about KZN ANC factions, violence

2018-02-19 17:13
The Moerane Commission sitting in Durban. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

The Moerane Commission sitting in Durban. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban – A witness at the Moerane Commission has given detailed accounts of on-the-ground factional fighting in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Cosmos Nxumalo, 33, appeared before the commission, which is investigating political killings, in Durban on Monday and explained how he was shot during a political meeting.

Nxumalo was shot in the arm on April 2, 2016, during a councillor candidate meeting of the Thabo Mbeki branch, in Newcastle, where he was an ANC ward organiser.

READ: Factions in ANC led to death of councillor candidate - Moerane Commission hears

He testified that he had jumped ship from a Jacob Zuma/Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faction and joined the Cyril Ramaphosa group that same year.

"I had done this because my information on the ground showed that people were unhappy with the councillor in the Zuma faction. She had been in the community for 10 years and people felt she did not do enough to help them. The councillor was not willing to accept [this]. So I went to the Ramaphosa side to help the people."

Nxumalo said there had been three botched meetings before the one where he was shot took place.

'We did not trust the REC to be impartial'

"There was always no quorum, but for this particular meeting, the presiding officer insisted it go forward."

He said that the local ANC had even written to the provincial body of the party asking it to host the meeting instead of the regional executive committee (REC).

"We knew that when [the] REC comes, they would have their own motives. If they earmark someone to be councillor, irrespective of votes, they will make them councillor. We did not trust the REC to be impartial."

Nxumalo said the tone of the meeting was aggressive from the start with the presiding officer and other officials arriving with bodyguards.

"They were all armed and when we got to the classroom at the school where the meeting was, two of the guards came inside the meeting. They were the presiding officer's guards."

He said many card-carrying ANC members were not allowed into the meeting.

"They were trying to come inside but they would not allow it."

'It was not about money'

Nxumalo said that during the meeting, the bodyguard of the presiding officer got into a heated argument with someone else before the situation turned violent.

"They had been arguing about something. I had already cast my vote for the councillor and I was going outside. As I was going, the two of them were arguing."

He said this was when he was shot.

"I stopped to see what was happening and he just shot in me in the arm. I was taken by surprise. I did not expect it. To this day I have trouble with my arm."

No other violence took place at the meeting. Nxumalo had to be hospitalised.

He further claimed that the guard who shot him offered him up to R20 000 to withdraw a case against him.

"But I could not do that. It was not about money."

The Moerane Commission will have a full week in Durban this week with the police, EFF and the National Prosecuting Authority due to testify.

The commission was in established October 2016 by Premier Willies Mchunu amid a high number of political killings in the province. Chaired by Advocate Marumo Moerane, the commission is investigating killings in the province since 2011.

Read more on:    durban  |  politics  |  moerane commission  |  political killings

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