A senior ANC member in Newcastle is facing attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting a security guard who demanded that he should use hand sanitiser.
Arthur Zwane will spend the next three days behind bars.
Zwane, who is facing another attempted murder charge in the Durban Magistrate’s Court for pointing a firearm at Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka, on Friday appeared in the eMadadeni Magistrate’s Court for a second attempted murder case.
A former ANC eMalahleni regional chairperson, Zwane is facing fresh attempted murder charges after allegedly shooting the security guard at a hardware store in Newcastle.
According to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker, Zwane was involved in a dispute with the security guard after he objected to a request that he should first sanitise before entering a shop.
Zwane and another two men then allegedly fought with the security guard, who used a pick-handle to fight off the three. Naicker said the security guard was shot and injured. “He was rushed to the Madadeni hospital and admitted.”
Zwane, who is also a former ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) member, in November last year made headlines after storming into an ANC provincial working committee meeting at the party’s Durban provincial headquarters. He then allegedly pointed a firearm at Hlomuka, who later laid criminal charges.
In January the Durban Magistrate’s Court released Zwane on R1 000 bail after he handed himself over to Durban police on learning that Hlomuka had laid charges against him,
At the time the ANC’s KZN leadership announced that it had launched an investigation against Zwane.
However, ANC sources later told Weekend Witness that the investigation against Zwane had been dropped.
Approached for comment, ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela on Friday confirmed that there was currently no internal probe against Zwane. “Police were already investigating the matter and it was felt that it would be pointless to run a parallel investigation,” he said.
On the fresh attempted murder charges against Zwane, Ntombela said the party was closely monitoring the case.
“We will first gather all the facts before deciding on the next step,” he said.
DA provincial health spokesperson Imran Keeka, who hails from Newcastle, said while the party did not have all the facts around the latest attempted murder accusations against Zwane, it was concerned about reports that the dispute was sparked by a refusal to sanitise.
“By now most South Africans are aware of the damage caused by the hard lockdown we had to the economy. What has become clearer is that a return to the hard lockdown would, without any doubt, completely destroy the economy.
“Going forward the only line of defence we have against Covid-19 is the strict adherence to safety precautions such as sanitising, social distancing and the wearing of a mask. It is unfortunate that there were politicians who were doing their best to undermine the fight against Covid-19,” he said.
A prosecutor at the eMadadeni Magistrate’s Court said Zwane had applied for bail on Friday but the application could not be finalised.
“He will appear again on Wednesday where the application would be finalised,” the prosecutor said.