Cosatu calls for arrests of murderers of VBS whistleblowers in Limpopo

VBS Bank branding. Picture: Moneyweb

VBS Bank branding. Picture: Moneyweb

The union says it is blatantly obvious Samwu and Cosatu leaders are being killed for supporting the fight against corruption.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Tuesday called on the police to arrest those behind a hit on leaders of its affiliate, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in Limpopo’s Vhembe district.

“We send our deepest condolences to the families of comrades Roland Mani and Tshililo Tshimangadzo Mositho, who were killed in Vhembe,” the federation said, adding that the perpetrators of the crime should be jailed for life.

“It is blatantly obvious that the Samwu and Cosatu leaders in Vhembe district municipality are being killed for supporting our fight against corruption and for specifically speaking out against VBS looters,” spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said in a statement following the federation’s  special central executive committee meeting in Johannesburg on Monday.

Mani, who was the deputy provincial secretary of Samwu in Limpopo, was shot dead on 30 January at Tshisahulu in Thohoyandou. Tshililo, the former provincial chairperson was shot and wounded about two weeks ago when he arrived at his home in Makwarela, near Thohoyandou. He was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries on 29 January.

Both were employed by the Vhembe District Municipality, which was one of the municipalities that invested taxpayers’ money in the VBS Mutual Bank. Investigations revealed that municipalities unlawfully invested in VBS.

“Our message is very clear to the killers, including our own government, that we will not keep quiet on corruption. Cosatu will go out and continue to expose those who are implicated in corruption, which includes the VBS saga.

“We will also make sure that they don’t appear on the list towards the national and provincial election,” Pamla said.

“The government needs to act decisively to protect whistle-blowers because we do not want to see another Moss Phakoe situation where the killers are allowed to roam free. The criminals need to be locked up for good.”

Moss Phakoe, a Rustenburg local municipality councillor, was gunned down at his home in Rustenburg Noord, North West, in March 2009 after he had handed over a dossier detailing corruption in the municipality to high-ranking ANC officials, including late local government minister Sicelo Shiceka.

The former mayor of Rustenburg Matthews Wolmarans and his bodyguard Enock Matshaba were convicted of his murder.

Wolmarans was handed a 20-year sentence while Matshaba was given a life sentence. They were released and cleared of the murder charges after Emmanuel Masoka said in an affidavit that he had lied under oath.

Masoka, who was a star witness during the trial, testified that Wolmarans confessed to him that he had killed Phakoe when the two shared a cell at the Hartebeespoortdam police station.

He was charged with perjury for making conflicting statements under oath.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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