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Whistleblower in Sindiso Magaqa case refuses to open case after being shot

The police's Jay Naicker said Thabiso Zulu was walking with a friend in Pietermaritzburg when three gunmen got out of a vehicle and shot at them on Saturday night.

FILE: Thabiso Zulu at the Moerane Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The whistleblower who rose to prominence during the early stages of the Sindiso Magaqa murder case said he would not be pressing charges after being shot at the weekend.

The police's Jay Naicker said Thabiso Zulu was walking with a friend in Pietermaritzburg when three gunmen got out of a vehicle and shot at them on Saturday night.

Zulu was wounded in the arm.

Zulu said he had lost trust in the country's justice system and he would not be pressing charges.

He's currently in hiding following Saturday’s attack and through an intermediary, Mlungisi Zondi, he said he believed he was attacked after speaking out against an African National Congress (ANC) councillor in the Msunduzi Municipality.

Last week, he led a community protest against Ward 29 councillor Siphamandla Madlala whom he claimed defrauded the local municipality.

Naicker said they had opened a case of attempted murder and were relying on a hospital report confirming a gunshot wound as Zulu was not cooperating with the police.

Zondi has told Eyewitness News that Zulu did not intend on making a statement to the police.

“We don’t see the need for that. We are now used to a situation where when people are shot and killed for political reasons. It is hitmen who are arrested and not those who hired them.”

Zondi said Zulu was in a critical condition but was receiving medical attention.

PROTECTION TO BE OFFERED TO ZULU

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said support and protection would be provided to Zulu.

The party said it was disappointed that Zulu had not been granted police protection, despite a report by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane suggesting that Zulu's life was in danger.

ANC KZN spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu said the party had been informed that temporary protection had been organised for Zulu and it would call on Police Minister Bheki Cele to answer why that protection was never granted to Zulu.

"We are going to engage with the national minister because we are concerned as the ANC, particularly on the issues that have got to do with political killings and we want these cases to be handled in such a way that they bring closure."

In 2018, Mkhwebane told President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against Cele after he failed to grant protection to whistleblowers who lifted the lid on Magaqa's murder, including Zulu.

Cele has taken the report under review and the matter is yet to be heard by the High Court.

In response to questions by EWN, police ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said Zulu was not a witness to any case and the state only protected witnesses according to the Witness Protection Act.

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