‘We loved Magaqa but we failed him’
POLICE Minister Fikile Mbalula says slain former ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa was killed for fighting rampant corruption in the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality where he was serving as a councillor.
“Magaqa did not have a gun and his killers killed an innocent young man. They (Magaqa’s killers) are cowards,” Mbalula said.
He was addressing throngs of ANC and community members at a memorial service held for Magaqa in his village of Ibisi, Umzimkhulu yesterday, following a visit to Magaqa’s home earlier.
There he was shown the bullet-riddled Mercedes Benz in which Magaqa and two other Umzimkhulu councillors were ambushed in July.
Mbalula said Magaqa had complained to him that there were people following him and he felt his life was in danger.
“Today’s pain is most felt by the mother. Not only has the family lost a brave son, but this whole country (has). I didn’t know that in these killings in this region Magaqa was also going to die.
“I saw Sindiso’s car and it looked like it had come out of a war zone. We will find them, not only the killers but those who paid the killers too,” Mbalula said.
He was quick to dispel allegations that Magaqa was planning to join another political party.
“Magaqa lost everything that came with the privileges of being an ANC Youth League secretary. He could’ve decided to leave the ANC and join the EFF, but he didn’t,” Mbalula said.
Even when Magaqa had returned to Umzimkhulu, following his suspension from the Youth League, he would never call asking for money or elevation into political positions. “He never deserted the ANC,” said Mbalula.
The Hawks had been tasked with looking into corruption, not only in the Harry Gwala region but all over the country, Mbalula said.
“If we allow this (corruption) to continue then we do not have a state.”
Mbalula said they had loved Magaqa, but they might have failed him. “To have to come to your home because of your death, we apologise for that,” he said.
Njabulo Nzuza, ANC Youth League secretary-general, said Magaqa had been a soldier of the Youth League’s “economic freedom in our lifetime” campaign.
“Magaqa understood that when joining the ANC he was not joining the party for positions.
“The Magaqa family produced one of the finest cadres of the revolution,” Nzuza said.
Super Zuma, ANC provincial secretary, said that in the same way that Chris Hani’s sacrifice and blood had ushered South Africa into democracy, they hoped Magaqa’s blood would bring peace to the Harry Gwala region.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, MEC for Community Safety Mxolisi Kaunda, Zenzele Msomi and Les Sthutha inspect the car in which former ANC Youth League leader Sindiso Magaqa was shot and wounded in Umzimkhulu in July. Magaqa, whose funeral was held in Ibisi, Umzimkhulu, yesterday, died last week as a result of his wounds.