‘We loved Ma­gaqa but we failed him’

The Mercury - - NEWS - Samkelo Mt­shali

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.

PIC­TURE: BON­GANI MBATHA

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.

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