Bheki Cele confirms arrest of suspect in Sindiso Magaqa murder case

The former ANC Youth League general secretary was shot in July 2017. Cele says one man is in custody for the crime but he’s expecting more arrests.

FILE: Former ANCYL secretary Sindiso Magaqa at a press conference at Luthuli House on 5 March 2012. Picture: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Antonio Muchave

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele has confirmed one suspect has been handcuffed in connection with the murder of Sindiso Magaqa.

The former ANC Youth League general secretary was shot in July 2017.

He died in September from what was described as “complications from multiple gunshot wounds”.

Cele also confirmed that a man has appeared in the Umzimkhulu Magistrates Court for the murder of Magaqa, adding he’s expecting more arrests.

“A suspect in the murder of the former Youth League general secretary appeared in court on 13 September. He’s not the last one, we’re still hunting some other people.”

Cele and his counterparts in the security cluster Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba are in KwaZulu-Natal, where they’ve given an update on arrests made in political killings in that province.

Cele has announced that since the task team began its work mid-July there have been 28 arrests, and three convictions so far.

“To say why a cash heist person would go and kill the secretary general of the Youth League, so there must be a gap that must be closed there.”

Cele says as they continue making arrests for several politically motivated murders, the next step for investigators has been to track down the masterminds.

Cele says this also applies to the murder case of Magaqa.

“Because you can’t just be a cash heist guy, then you go and kill a politician. Which means you’re a certain ‘nkabi’, so those are the areas that we’re looking into, for now.”

Acting police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi says the name of the man who appeared in court on Thursday cannot be divulged because it could jeopardise the case.

In an exclusive sit down interview in July, Magaqa’s relatives said they haven’t found closure because they don’t believe that he died as a result of the gunshot wounds.

This was despite police ruling out the possibility of him being poisoned while giving testimony during the Moerane Commission of Inquiry.

The family also said that not a single politician has made good on the promises made to them at the funeral in 2017.

PODCAST: Poisonous bullets: The silent betrayal of Sindiso Magaqa

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)