The bail application of an ANC KwaZulu-Natal councilor accused of murder by another party councilor from a neighboring ward has been shifted to early next year.
Umlazi’s Ward 80 councilor, Mthokozisi Nojiyeza, appeared in the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court on Thursday in connection with the murder of Ward 88 councilor Sibusiso Maphumulo.
Maphumulo was shot on the night of October 18 after a community meeting in the township’s V Section.
The State was not ready to proceed with Nojiyeza’s bail application and the matter was postponed to January 3, 2019.
Nojiyeza’s brothers, Nkosingiphile and Phumlani Nojiyeza, and Sandile Mvelase are also accused of Maphumulo’s murder.
ANC Youth League (ANCYL) national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said that the league was calling for a by-election in Nojiyeza’s Ward 80.
Mkhize also attended the case in Umlazi.
“As the ANC prepares for the by-election in Ward 88 since the councilor passed away, we are also calling for a by-election in Nojiyeza’s ward because he is part of the people accused of Maphumulo’s murder,” said Mkhize.
VBS scandal precedent
He said the reason for the league’s call was “simple”.
Mkhize said the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) should apply the same guidelines it used when it agreed with the decision of the party’s integrity commission regarding the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.
The ANC’s integrity commission recommended towards the end of October that its members implicated in the scandal step down.
“The NWC said ANC members who were associated with the VBS scandal, who had not been found guilty, must step down because they were not helping the ANC. That’s what we want to affirm as our central point. Even in this instance, the ANC must not ask for a verdict of guilty or not guilty but must act in the best interests of the people,” he said.
Mkhize said the people of wards 80 and 88 were one community as only a road separates the wards.
“If the ANC campaigns there, there would be conflicting views from those who supported Maphumulo and those who stay in Nojiyeza’s ward. The ANC must act decisively to unite the community instead of dividing them,” said Mkhize.
He said the league would wait for court processes to determine whether the killing was politically motivated or not.
ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo wrote on Facebook on Monday: “If the ANC is serious about political killings in the province it must declare a vacancy in Ward 80 and we must go for a by-election.”
In response to Sabelo’s call, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson, said it was Sabelo’s right to make whatever call the youth league deemed fit.
“But the truth of the matter is that there are processes that must be followed and there are two ways of actually calling for a by-election; one where a councilor has died or, two, when a councilor has resigned. None of those are a matter in this instance (Ward 80). So, we will follow the processes and follow the law in relation to that.”
However, according to the country’s electoral laws, a by-election can be called if a councilor dies, if they resign or if they are expelled from their party or council.