Daily Dispatch

Inquiry hears of hostel killings


THE Commission of Inquiry into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal, chaired by advocate Marumo Moerane has heard why at least 89 people have been murdered since March 2014 at the Glebelands hostel in Umlazi without a single arrest made.

Giving testimony was a former Glebelands’ resident and peace committee member (who cannot be named to protect his identity).

He stayed at the hostel from 1986 until last year, and said he left after he was tipped off about a plan to kill him.

He said that the peace committee had been working for peace to unite Block R and Block 52, which had been at war.

“The feud started with the selling of beds‚ where some men would sell empty space in the hostel to people at R1 000. If you stayed in Block R‚ you could not visit your friend or relative staying in Block 52‚ known as Madala Stairs‚” he said.

“For a while‚ the peace committee worked to break the hostility and fights. Now its members [the peace committee] are getting killed one by one and it is no longer a functionin­g body‚” he said.

Questioned by evidence leader Bheki Manyathi‚ the resident agreed the killings in the province and Glebelands were a result of politics‚ power‚ financial enrichment‚ criminalit­y‚ failures on the part of the municipali­ty‚ SAPS and Durban metro police.

He also said that a policeman who stayed at the hostel was the mastermind behind some of the killings and brought ammunition to the hostel’s hitmen and warlords.

Human rights activist Vanessa Burger testified: “If you want to hire hitmen‚ go to Glebelands.”

The commission runs until Friday with some testimonie­s expected to be held in camera.

● This article was originally published by GroundUp ( http://www. groundup.org.za/article/89-peoplemurd — DDC

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