Mr Sindiso Magaqa, former African National Congress (ANC) Youth League Secretary General was shot, and subsequently died, in what has been reported to be a spate of politically-motivated assassinations. Below is an interview Political Analysis South Africa’s Mzoxolo Mpolase had with Mr Thanduxolo Sabelo, the ANC Youth League’s KwaZulu-Natal Regional Secretary, on the matter.
Interviewer: What is behind all of this killing that is happening in your province, and what is your view, as the ANC Youth League, on this?
Thanduxolo Sabelo: First, and foremost, we need to understand that there is an investigation going on, called the Moerane Commission in KwaZulu-Natal. We are not undermining the Commission, we have no other reason as yet, but to believe that these killings are politically motivated. We understand that most of the people who have been killed are activists, in particular activists of the ANC. Now, of late, the trend has been showing that it is younger activists of the ANC who are getting killed. We do believe, that it has everything to do with, Conferences of the ANC and also government positions, in terms of Councillors; if you had noticed before, that there have been assassinations before local government elections, and others where there have been assassinations of Councillors. These reasons come as a result of no other evidence brought to us, except for us to make our conclusions that all these killings are politically motivated.
In the statement you allude to the deployment of the youth, or young leaders, to positions in government – the so-called ‘forty percent’. Would you say that this is related to it at all, and if so, will this programme continue?
The programme of ‘forty percent’ and introducing young cadres into the ANC government, will never stop. You see, you can kill us; but you must remember one thing – ideas don’t die. You know what Thomas Sankara said? – While revolutionaries may die, ideas do not die. So assassinating us – you will never kill all of us, there are too many of us. The time has just come that, this country now needs younger leaders, and if anybody thinks that we are going to stop our generation mission just because they are going to scare us with the barrel of a gun, they must forget it. We will die with our boots on; we will never surrender. The generational mix, of forty percent as you put it, is indeed what is going to continue, both in the province and throughout the country. Yes, we do believe that it has also infuriated some tension, because there are people who have been comfortable over a long period of time knowing that they will continue to be in the positions that they are in; now that they are being challenged by younger people for those positions; that is where the problem is starting. So, it is possible that it is also bring the threats and the tensions with regards to these issues.
Yes, there is the Moerane Commission which is happening, and the findings will be finalised later, but I just want to know, what is the ANCYL and the ANC proper in the province, doing in its part to reduce or address some of these killings?
Well obviously, the investigations of the Moerane Commission come out of the resolutions of the Youth League, and the ANC in the province. Let these assassinations be properly investigated and proper recommendations made, so that we also find out the cause of these killings. We also believe that these assassinations are a result of high political tensions which needs for us to educate society and our members, politically, to be able to tolerate each other. Having a different view does not mean you must not tolerate the other person, and must assassinate them. You must be able to be politically tolerant so that the organisation and the people can live a safer life. So, we also believe that political education must also be central in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, but also, proper investigations by both the SAPS and the intelligence agencies of our country, involving the community wherein these assignations have taken place – we believe that it will yield results. But at the current moment, we have not seen any results being yielded, but that is what we are calling for now – the involvement of the security agencies, in particular the National Intelligence Agency, and South African Police, to be able to ensure that these investigations actually do carry on, and you have competent people handling these investigations. Otherwise, it is just going to be a non-ending situation in our province.
So, would it be fair for me to say that implicit in that statement, you feel that the authorities – SAPS or the security agencies, have faltered on this?
Definitely; with regards to the case in Newcastle, we do believe that there has been a neglect of duties. As the ANCYL, we have been calling-out, we have been giving information, as the Youth League, to the authorities that this is what we are getting on the ground, that these are people who have killed our leader, who was the Deputy Chair at the time. So, arrests have led to nothing, as we believe that some within the authorities are not doing a proper job. We are not saying everyone is incompetent, we are basically saying that they need to be reinforced and strengthened.