Out on bail for attempted murder and up for election
Disgraced former mayor of Dundee Thandeka Nukani has been short-listed by the ANC to stand as a ward councillor candidate in the local government elections, despite the fact that she is out on bail on attempted murder charges linked to the assassination of one of her comrades nearly a decade ago.
Nukani, who was fired as mayor after she was charged with the murder of former ANC councillor and whistleblower Grishen Bujram, was introduced to ANC supporters in Dundee’s Ward 4 at a meeting in a marquee near her home on Wednesday night.
Nukani, who will appear in court tomorrow over a plot to poison her nephew Siyabonga for implicating her in Bujram’s murder, was presented as a nominee to ANC voters. She was presented alongside fellow nominee Hope Xaba to the ward, which covers part of town and Sibongile township.
They were accompanied by a panel of local ANC leaders, who told the audience that two other nominees had withdrawn, leaving the two to be chosen as ward candidates.
Among those in the audience was Bujram’s widow, Shirley, who has been campaigning to have his killers brought to book. Nukani was charged for his murder after her boyfriend, Bongani Shangase, and Siyabonga were convicted for the 2006 hit.
Bujram, by then a trade unionist after serving a term as an ANC councillor, had reported Nukani to the ANC and the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs over the alleged corrupt allocation and sale of RDP houses in Sibongile township, where he was murdered.
However, the state withdrew the case after the hit man, Mzamo Majola, disappeared after being granted bail after becoming a witness for the state. Nukani was later charged for trying to have Siyabonga poisoned in Waterval Prison in Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal, but the case was withdrawn. Last month, the charge was reinstated and she, Shangase and her driver, Peter Khumalo, will appear in court in Dundee.
Shirley Bujram told City Press she had objected to Nukani being nominated because of the attempted murder charge.
“We were called to the meeting to meet the ANC nominees. We were told there were four, but two withdrew. They sat with the panel to answer questions. I asked how she could stand with an attempted murder charge against her. The chairperson said she was only there to answer questions about how she would handle service delivery,” Bujram said.
“I raised the issue and said I didn’t agree with her being nominated because she was implicated in my husband’s murder. She responded and said that it was her boyfriend [who did it] and that she had been acquitted. I raised the fact that she had only got off because the cops lost the state’s witness. I raised the attempted murder charge issue and she kept quiet,” Bujram said.
She said the meeting was concluded without her concerns being addressed.
“I have raised this with the region and the province so many times. I was told that the ANC was not backing her. Top leaders sat in my house and told me our family had their support over Grishen’s murder,” she said.
“My children are outraged by this. How can we be represented in our ward by a person who was implicated in their father’s murder? Everything he fought for has been in vain.”
ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma and spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli failed to respond to numerous calls and SMSes from City Press asking for comment on Friday and Saturday.