Hostage taker falls out with YCL
THE YOUNG Communist League has rejected insinuations by Kabelo Thibedi, the man who held Joburg Home Affairs officials hostage, demanding his identity document, that the league had “deserted” him.
Earlier this week Thibedi told a newspaper that the league had deserted him. He also said he received a lawyer’s letter asking that he “kindly settle” his outstanding R55 000 debt.
In the letter, Xoliswa Zanazo, acting on behalf of a fir m of attor neys, details Thibedi’s legal expenses in the courts. The attorneys also act for the league.
Thibedi told the newspaper he had heard nothing from the YCL and did not know who was in charge of the Justice for Kabelo Thibedi Trust, set up to raise funds for his legal fees.
The 25-year-old was convicted in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court and sentenced to five years in jail for pointing a gun at Home Affairs officials in 2005. He is appealing his conviction and sentence.
The league took him under its wing, he said, and he became the league’s campaign officer aimed at helping people struggling to get ID documents from Home Affairs. Thibedi said he worked for the league for a year but received a “stipend”, not a salary.
The league said it had offered its support to Thibedi to address the bottlenecks and frustrations endured “by the working class and the poor youth” relating to the provision of IDs by the “inept” Department of Home Affairs.
“We had never undertaken responsibility for the social welfare of Thibedi, but have always been committed to providing support in the legal battles that he was fighting,” said the league.
Thibedi could not reached for comment.