Mystery BMW linked to shooting of ANC councillor

By Thanmi Magubane and Bongani Hans | IOL |

A day before ANC PR councillor and former ANC Youth League leader Sindiso Magaqa was shot, he complained about a BMW that tried to force him off the road, his best friend and family spokesperson Les Stuta said on Sunday.

Former ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa was seriously wounded after being shot. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/ANA Pictures
Former ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa was seriously wounded after being shot. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/ANA Pictures

Magaqa was shot in Umzimkulu on Thursday last week.

Stuta said he had visited Magaqa in hospital and said he was still in a serious condition, although his condition had improved.

Sindi Msomi, the ANC secretary in the party’s Harry Gwala Region, said the assailants were in a white Mercedes-Benz, but she suspected a BMW was also involved.

“The (other) councillors who were shot said from hospital that when they parked their car at a shop, a red BMW left immediately after their arrival. Soon after, a white Mercedes pulled over and gunmen fired shots at them while they were inside the car,” said Msomi.

Umzimkhulu is gripped by fear that more people could be killed.

Zolani Mhlongo, speaker in the Greater Kokstad local municipality and deputy secretary of the ANC in the region, was also allegedly threatened on Saturday night.

Stuta said, “On Tuesday, Magaqa told me a BMW had tried to push him off the road by overtaking him on a bend a short distance from his home. We thought it was one of those people who drive big cars and are difficult people on the road.

“A few weeks ago, he was attending an event and when he stopped and got out of his car, another car stopped right in front of him. When another friend stopped next to him, the other car sped off.”

Stuta said the people who had shot at Magaqa and the other councillors – Nsiki Mafa and Jabu Msiya – on Friday night had followed them from his (Stuta’s) home.

“They had come to pay their respects as there had been a death in my family. His assailants had followed him from my home to Ibisi, about 25km.

“The car had no number plate, a big problem in this area. It is very concerning, especially in the current political climate,” he said.

According to Stuta, it could not be said with certainty whether the shooting was linked to the leadership battles in the region, as has been alleged. There is a poster doing the rounds calling for Magaqa to be elected to one of the top positions in the region.

“We do know that some people want him to be the deputy secretary, but those are individuals and the ANC regions have not yet made their nominations known,” Stuta said.

Mhlongo raised similar concerns of intimidation and fear, saying he had received death threats. His children had been followed by people driving cars not known in the area.

“The situation is quite tense and we fear that this points to possible political violence.”

Mhlongo said he suspected assassins had come for him on Saturday night, but been disturbed by his dogs.

“I came home at about 9pm. Later I heard the dogs barking next to the bedroom windows, I did not go out. On Sunday morning I found 24 unspent rounds of R5 ammunition on my verandah.”

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said bullets of an R1 rifle were recovered at the speaker’s home.