Out on bail for at­tempted mur­der and up for elec­tion

CityPress - - News - PADDY HARPER paddy.harper@city­press.co.za

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.

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