Judge Goliath assassination 'plot': 'Mastermind' of high-profile KZN killing fingered as 'hitman'

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Patricia Goliath
Patricia Goliath
  • The man who has allegedly been commissioned to kill Western Cape Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath has been identified, according to sources.
  • He was the alleged mastermind of another assassination plot in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Western Cape Judge President John Hlope has been linked in a plot to get Goliath killed.

Allegations surrounding a plot to assassinate Western Cape Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath has taken a dramatic turn, with the alleged mastermind of a previous high-profile murder in KwaZulu-Natal being identified as the person who was allegedly commissioned to kill Goliath.

The Pietermaritzburg inmate who has been identified as one of the players in an alleged plot to kill Goliath had access to a large collection of firearms prior to his arrest last year, sources have said.

Sibonelo Myeza, the alleged mastermind of the assassination of former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa in 2017, has now been named as the assassin allegedly commissioned by Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe to kill his deputy, Goliath.

According to sources within Pietermaritzburg’s New Prison where Myeza, a former policeman, is being held in connection with the murder of Magaqa, he is highly skilled in the use of firearms.

"In his previous job at the Durban Harbour he was responsible for the clearance of firearms being shipped into the country," a prison official said, adding:

He is quite knowledgeable about firearms and their use. Even here in prison he talks about firearms and one can see that he is very passionate about them.

Law enforcement agencies are probing claims made by a fellow Pietermaritzburg prisoner to the Grahamstown Bar that he overhead Myeza discussing the plot to murder Goliath with unknown people over the phone.

The prisoner then called the Grahamstown Bar office to warn advocates that a “hit” had been placed on Goliath’s life. According to the whistleblower, Hlophe, had ordered a hit on Goliath.

READ | Media reports link John Hlope in assassination plot

A former policeman, who at the time of his arrest worked for a clearance company, Myeza was arrested alongside businessman Mxolisi Ncalane and former taxi owner Mbulelo Mpofana by the political killings task team.

During his bail hearing at the uMzimkhulu­ Magistrate’s Court last year, members of the political killings task team painted Myeza as a planner as opposed to a hitman.

After learning of the alleged plot against Goliath, the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) commissioned a report on the matter.

Probe

As part of the JICS probe, investigators travelled to Pietermaritzburg's New Prison where they interviewed Myeza and other inmates.

According to the murder plot claims, which are now subject to an investigation by the State Security Agency (SSA) Hlophe had allegedly offered to pay hitmen R3 million for the assassination of Goliath.

While Hlophe is alleged to have later called off the hit, he nevertheless allegedly paid the hitmen R200 000.

Asked what he thought about the allegations that Myeza was part of a plot to assassinate Goliath, a senior official at the New Prison rubbished the claims.

"When I first saw the issue being reported in the media I thought it was a joke. Even now, I don’t believe that intelligent people such as lawyers and judges can waste so much money following up leads provided by a prisoner.

"The fact of the matter is that prisoners have been doing this thing for many years now. Honestly speaking I think the prisoner who called the advocate made up the story after reading about the tensions between Judge Hlophe and other judges," the official said.

Correctional Services spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo declined to comment.

"This is a JICS matter," he said.

However, during a recent KwaZulu-Natal Legislature portfolio committee meeting, Community Safety MEC Bheki Ntuli told MPLs that police were following up on information that a number of the taxi-related killings in the province were being planned in the province’s prisons.

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