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Moerane Commission: Witness to speak under police guard

Today the inquiry is concluding this round of hearings as it investigates the underlying causes of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Moerane Commission of Inquiry is investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Ziyanda Ncgobo/EWN

DURBAN – A witness who is expected to make presentations before the Moerane Commission on Friday morning will be doing so under police guard and their identity will only be known to the advocates in the room.

Today the inquiry is concluding this round of hearings as it investigates the underlying causes of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal.

A total of 89 people have been killed in the province since March 2014 with no arrests having been made to date.

This week the commission has heard from various entities about the network of police, politicians and hitmen, all working together to murder and suppress opponents getting in the way of them gaining money and power.

This explains why today’s witness has requested that their identity be protected even from the media covering the inquiry.

Evidence leader advocate Bheki Manyathi has told commissioners that this is because extremely sensitive information is expected to be shared.

After the testimony, the commissioners will conduct an in-loco site visit at the Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi where the killings have been the most prevalent.

SAPS AND IPID YET TO REACT

The South African Police Service and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) are yet to react to the Commission's invitation to respond to allegations that their offices in KwaZulu-Natal are dysfunctional.

The inquiry has invited the two authorities after hearing how they have been failing their constitutional mandate in quelling the violence at the Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi.

On Monday, activist Vanessa Burger claimed Ipid has not called for a single identity parade in over a year and that postmortem reports are left uncollected from pathologists.

The police watchdog has hit out at Burger, accusing her of not only failing to provide evidence for her claims but also interfering in the work of authorities.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee for Police has urged both the SAPS and Ipid to respond to allegations that corrupt officials who commit assaults are not held to account.

One example of police brutality was submitted by Abahlali Basemjondolo where 17-year-old Nqobile Nzuza was shot in the back and killed by a cop.

Secretary for the Moerane Commission, Solo Mdledle, says that both SAPS and Ipid have been invited to give their side.

“After seeing their response in the media regarding the testimony of one of the witnesses to the commission, I then extended an invitation to them. They then requested something in writing.”

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