The Moerane Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday that not so much has been done to nab the killers of Richmond municipality manager, Sibusiso Sithole, who was killed because he opposed corruption and maladministration.
DA MP, Dean Macpherson testified that ANC infighting in the province contributed to the murders of Sithole and three others in Richmond this year.
He said Sithole was putting a halt to the ANC’s style of raising money through corrupt means – money that would have been used for the party’s elective conference in December.
“We know there is an elective conference coming up at the end of the year. To get delegates to vote in specific ways, that costs money.
“There are few ways to raise that money. One way is through tenders. We know the corruption that takes place through the tender system. Sithole was on the other side of the faction. He was a blockage to access to that.”
Sithole was said to have suspended a senior manager for awarding a contract without putting it out to tender and was investigating the municipality’s CFO for alleged maladministration and corruption.
Sithole had applied for, and was about to take up the post of manager at the Umgeni local municipality shortly before he was killed. Macpherson said he had received many awards, including best municipal manager in KwaZulu-Natal.
Macpherson said there were individuals in Umgeni who were worried about a potential crackdown on corruption there.
“His anti-corruption views made him deeply unpopular.”
Sithole was shot dead while getting out of his car on Victoria Street, near Richmond police station, on Monday, March 6.
Macpherson said the killers knew the weaknesses of politicians and how to lure them out of their offices without their protection.
This suggested the murders were not random, but part of a co-ordinated plan.
He stated that the political killings “go up the ANC command, and they have not refuted that”.
“It is always those that are not on the side of corruption that are the victims,” he revealed.
Macpherson said police had not made arrests in Sithole’s matter.
“There has been no communication to family members. There are lots of political visits by political high-flyers, but no action.”
Advocate Mthokozisi Ngcobo, who spoke on behalf of the SAPS, asked Macpherson during cross-examination if he had written to police to ask about the progress of any murders in Richmond but Macpherson said he had not.
Advocate Ngcobo then said that Macpherson had formulated his own views. Macpherson replied by saying the commission sought his opinion and he was providing it.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu announced on October 31 last year that he was setting up the commission. It is chaired by advocate Marumo Moerane and investigating the spate of political killings in the province.