Angry supporters of slain former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa chased away three high-ranking ANC officials on Tuesday when they visited Magaqa’s family home in Umzimkhulu, southern KwaZulu-Natal, to offer their condolences.
ANC KZN deputy secretary Mluleki Ndobe, Umzimkhulu mayor Mphuthumi Mpabanga and municipal manager Mzweliphansi Skhosana were confronted by the group reportedly carrying placards that were critical of the leaders, IOL reported.
The three officials were accompanying ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – who is from the Harry Gwala region – and ANC provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala to visit the family. But it was only Dlamini-Zuma and Zikalala who were allowed to pay their respects to the family.
While addressing Magaqa’s family, friends and supporters, Dlamini-Zuma called for peace and tolerance among ANC members.
“Let us respect him while we are preparing to bury him with the dignity he deserves. Whatever differences need to be discussed, the leadership will discuss it,” she said.
Magaqa, 35, was a councillor from Umzimkhulu municipality at the time of his death. He died on Monday night at Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban after he was rushed to hospital on July 13 when he was shot and wounded in an ambush along with two other ANC councillors.
Five councillors are reported to have been murdered in the area since the beginning of this year. Magaqa’s supporters have linked the murders to corruption at the municipality and an upcoming conference in the Harry Gwala region.
In a statement, former ANCYL president Julius Malema said he found it “painful” that the league in KZN had been making calls inviting him to Magaqa’s funeral on September 16 in Umzimkhulu. Malema said he would attend the funeral without anyone’s invitation.
“Nothing is more insensitive and an utter betrayal of African tradition than this shallow sickening fame-seeking call. I do not know of anywhere in our traditions where people get invited to funerals … It is sickening and shattering at the same time for Magaqa’s name to be used to score cheap political and fame-seeking points,” he said.
It also emerged on Tuesday, the Hawks were investigating allegations Magaqa could have been poisoned after he complained about stomach pains.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the priority crimes unit would prioritise Magaqa’s postmortem.
“We’re still trying to ascertain what transpired‚ whether it was because of his injuries. There’s a lot we’re still looking at. We don’t want to make unnecessary pronouncements. What I can say is that a murder case has been opened linked to the shooting [in July],” he said.