The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal said that if reports that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (better known as the Hawks) raided the home of Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize were true, they trusted that it was done “within the parameters of the law”.
According to a media report on Wednesday, the raid took place on September 28, and specifically targeted the security guards at Mkhize’s home on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg.
A guard was allegedly arrested and a firearm confiscated. The operation, read the Witness newspaper’s report, was linked to ongoing investigations by a special police task team investigating political killings in the province.
ANC KZN secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, made the statements on Wednesday while responding to questions during a media briefing at the party’ Durban headquarters. He said the provincial leadership had not received “concrete or accurate reports” about the raid.
“We have heard about it in the media. I have not had an opportunity to talk to him (Mkhize), so I don’t know if it is true. But if there were such raids, I am quite certain they would have been handled within the parameters of the law and respect accorded to him and his family,” said Ntuli.
Mkhize is a former ANC provincial chairperson, former premier and former national treasurer.
Wednesday’s briefing was called to inform the media of various decisions taken at the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting held over the weekend, said Ntuli.
He said the conduct of party members who supported “other comrades” that were arrested for alleged political killings had been discussed and the PEC felt strongly that members should try to distance themselves from those implicated.
“A number of comrades have been arrested in Pietermaritzburg who are accused of having been involved directly or indirectly in the killing of comrades, including [the murder of] comrade Musawenkosi Mchunu. The PEC has agreed that ANC members need to distinguish between supporting a comrade who has been accused and support of the victims,” said Ntuli.
“The position of the ANC is that nobody should be allowed to go to court to support comrades who are arrested as a consequence of allegations that they were involved in the killing or assassination of other comrades.”
Mchunu, an ANC activist and former councillor, was shot dead in May while turning into his driveway in the kwaPata area of Pietermaritzburg.
Msunduzi Municipality (Pietermaritzburg) ward 10 councillor Nkosinathi Gambu, was arrested along with five others on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The suspects will appear again at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday.
Ntuli said the ANC must “always be on the side of justice” and “in favour of the victims rather than being seen as supporting the perpetrators”.
“We cannot dictate to the families of the perpetrators, but we believe that members of the ANC will have to exercise restraint and avoid going to court and [thereby] project an organisation that is at war with itself,” said Ntuli.
– African News Agency (ANA)