Witness demands protection
ONE of the witnesses in the Moerane inquiry into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal says he is still struggling to get a transcript of his own testimony.
The final report from the Moerane Commission will be made available to the public soon.
But corruption-fighter Thabiso Zulu – the man responsible for blowing the lid on the alleged reasons behind the assassination of Sindiso Magaqa – has since instructed his lawyers to demand the transcripts.
The report was handed over to Premier Willies Mchunu on Tuesday night, by the head of the commission, Advocate Marumo Moerane.
Moerane said the 424-page report contained very specific recommendations from the evidence of more than 60 witnesses. Zulu was one of the key witnesses.
The commission was established in 2016 and Mchunu said it was established due to the “worrying levels of violence in the province which have since not abated”. He established the commission to probe political violence and killings in the province since 2011.
“We were convinced that the number of murders had reached the level of a crisis, and felt we had to get to the bottom and establish the underlying causes,” said Mchunu.
In terms of the province’s Commissions Act, the premier must submit the same report to the provincial legislature not later than 21 days after a report of a commission of inquiry has been presented to him.
Thereafter, the relevant portfolio committee of the provincial legislature must make its decision within stipulated time-frames and provide formal comment or input in writing, through the Speaker of the legislature, to the premier.
The premier must then, within 21 working days of receiving the written comment or input of the relevant portfolio committee, release the report of the commission to the public.
The release is done together with an indication by the premier whether, and to what extent, the findings or recommendations of the commission will be implemented, and the reasons thereof.
Zulu testified before the commission in November about allegations of fraud and corruption at uMzimkhulu Municipality that he believes led to the assassination of Magaqa, a former ANC Youth League secretary-general and the most high-profile politician yet to be killed in the province.
Since his testimony, Zulu said he has received numerous death threats, has seen suspicious vehicles around his home and believes his cellphone calls and texts are being intercepted.
He has called for state protection but, after two security assessments, Zulu has not received any protection.
“They promised us protection, we went and risked our lives and testified,” Zulu told journalists on Tuesday.
“They are telling us stories, they say they can’t provide protection to private citizens. That’s not fair.
“Why, in the first place, did they agree that we must appear in the commission when they know that they can’t protect private citizens?
“Why did they ask for documents from private citizens that they can’t protect?”