News / South Africa / Local News

Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
2 Aug 2019
6:20 am

Funeral of slain Mogalakwena councillor to get top security

Alex Japho Matlala

Valtyn Kekana and ANC branch chairperson, Ralph Kanyane, died in a hail of bullets while sitting in a car in Mokopane Town last Tuesday.

South African Police Service officers. FILE PHOTO: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

A large contingent of police officers will be dispatched to tomorrow’s funeral of a Mogalakwena Municipality councillor who was shot dead last week, Limpopo police said yesterday.

This decision came after the angry community of Mokopane threatened to turn the funeral into boxing match, where leaders would be expected to trade blows.

Chairperson of the municipal public accounts committee (MPac), Valtyn Kekana, and ANC branch chairperson, Ralph Kanyane, died in a hail of bullets while sitting in a car in Mokopane Town last Tuesday.

The killing of the two allegedly took place hours after they had access to a document highlighting large scale corruption in the municipality.

The killings have raised temperatures in the municipality, with community members pointing fingers at some ANC leaders and senior municipal officials as being behind the assassinations.

Kekana and Kanyane were allegedly privy to a forensic audit report, which apparently implicated certain ANC politicians and managers in large-scale looting of municipal funds amounting to over R1 billion.

Mogalakwena Municipality was singled out by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu in his last audit as the municipality with the second-worst audit outcome in the 2017-18 financial year.

Kanyane was buried last Sunday in a funeral service characterised by threats, intimidation and blatant accusations, including an alleged plot to topple Mogalakwena Mayor Andrina Matsemela.

During the funeral, some leaders were also seen garnering support from mourners to embark on a strike that would bring services to a total standstill in Mokopane this weekend. There was also a call for the dissolution of the sitting municipal council in favour of a new one to be elected after the funeral.

Limpopo police reported yesterday they had dispatched a contingent of police officers to the funeral site and in Mahwelereng township and Mokopane town to guard against any eventuality.

“We are aware that there are evil intentions planned for the funeral and the town this weekend.

“We want to send a message to all riffraff that anyone who tries to misbehave will be met with the full might of the law,” said Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojalefa.

Mojalefa further confirmed that a charge of intimidation against the leaders who threatened mayor Matsemela has been opened.

“The mayor laid the charge yesterday at the Mokopane police station. We have not made any arrests so far but a criminal case of intimidation is been investigated,” Mojalefa said.

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