Gle­be­lands cen­tre of KZN death net­work

The Times (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - NATHI OLIFANT

KWAZULU-NATAL’S wave of vi­o­lence has its epi­cen­tre in Gle­be­lands Hos­tel in the heart of Um­lazi, south of Dur­ban, a vi­o­lence re­searcher claims.

About 90 peo­ple have been killed since April 2014 ei­ther in the hos­tel precinct or else­where in a se­ries of at­tacks and coun­ter­at­tacks‚ ac­cord­ing to ac­tivists.

At­tacks by Gle­be­lands hit­men are be­lieved to in­clude last Thurs­day night’s shoot­ing of ANCYL sec­re­tary-gen­eral and Umz­imkhulu coun­cil­lor Sindiso Ma­gaqa.

Ma­gaqa, with two other lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity coun­cil­lors, was shot and wounded with an R1 ri­fle in a shop near his home.

Ex­e­cu­tions have been com­mit­ted by men from Gle­be­lands as far south as Lusik­isiki, about 310km from Dur­ban.

Ex­pert wit­ness Vanessa Burger, of the In­de­pen­dent Com­mu­nity Ac­tivist for Hu­man Rights and So­cial Jus­tice ad­vo­cacy group, told the Mo­er­ane com­mis­sion of in­quiry into po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence that re­cent mur­ders in Rich­mond and Umz­imkhulu had been car­ried out by Gle­be­lands-linked hit­men.

Three have been killed in po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated vi­o­lence in Umz­imkhulu since April.

Burger told the com­mis­sion she had it on good author­ity that a large amount of money was re­cently col­lected in or­der to pay a hit­man to

‘ Ex­e­cu­tions have been com­mit­ted as far south as Lusik­isiki

carry out killings in Umz­imkhulu.

Ev­i­dence leader Bheki Many­athi asked Burger if she re­garded the at­tempted mur­der of Ma­gaqa as one of those hits, to which Burger said “yes”.

“The hit­man was paid and he is in Umz­imkhulu. The three that were shot in Umz­imkhulu were killed by the same hit­man,” Burger said.

A com­mis­sion wit­ness, who can­not be iden­ti­fied, said that the forced col­lec­tion of cash was used to buy am­mu­ni­tion, re­plen­ish firearms and to bribe cops to free ar­rested sus­pects.

“At least 25% of the 71 blocks in Gle­be­lands is con­trolled solely by hit­men,” the wit­ness, who lived in the hos­tel from 1989 to 2016, said.

He said many peo­ple moved out of Gle­be­lands to es­cape the vi­o­lence. How­ever, many of them were fol­lowed and killed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.