Hostage taker falls out with YCL

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - KASHIEFA AJAM

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.

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