On 17 January, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and the new National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khehla Sithole announced crime intelligence boss, Richard Mdluli, had finally been relieved of his duties. Since his suspension seven years ago, he has reportedly earned around R8-million and persistently meddled in affairs of the state. He will retire with full benefits and apparent impunity for his role in pillaging a Crime Intelligence secret slush fund. Mdluli has been widely blamed for the downfall of, amongst others, the former Hawks head Anwar Dramat, former NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, and Gauteng corruption-buster, former Major General Shadrack Sibiya. But he has thousands of lesser-known victims – collateral damage along the road to ‘a better life’ for some.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled in favour of residents of Endumeni in Northern KwaZulu-Natal who have been waiting for nearly two decades to receive RDP houses. The court found the conduct of the municipality was unconstitutional.
The criminal justice system is quick to blame its abysmal conviction rate of Glebelands suspects on reluctant witnesses. While this is indeed a contributing factor – and for good reason – the whole story is not being told.
It’s over 3 months since the storm that left a trail of destruction in KZN, but there has been no help from government for residents of Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi.
Residents of eNdumeni in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, who have been waiting for nearly 20 years to receive RDP houses are hopeful that justice will be done and Endumeni Municipality will be compelled to provide them with houses.
Since the killing began in March 2014, 100 people have died in Glebelands Hostel-related violence – either violently from hitmen’s bullets; or more slowly, from stress-induced illnesses caused by the fear of living daily in the shadow death. With a death toll now reaching almost four times the number of people killed at Marikana – which evoked worldwide outrage, political humiliation, commissions of inquiry and support groups – it is instructive to reflect on the state and society’s response to Glebelands’ ongoing slaughter.
Since the killings began in March 2014, 100 people have died in Glebelands Hostel-related violence – either violently from hitmen’s bullets, or more slowly, from stress-induced illnesses caused by the fear of living daily in the shadow of death. With a death toll now reaching almost four times the number of people killed at Marikana – which evoked worldwide outrage, political humiliation, commissions of inquiry and support groups – it is instructive to reflect on the state and society’s response to Glebelands’ ongoing slaughter.
Political killings continue unabated in KZN and more especially in Glebelands Hostels in Umlazi. Vanessa Burger asks all the open questions about the violence, all evidence and circumstances of which point to a particularly toxic trajectory of the ANC.
On Friday 15 September the Durban Magistrate’s Court sentenced Mxoleleni Hopeson Bhani to life imprisonment for the murder of Sipho Ndovela, killed on 18 May 2015 at the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court, and 12 years for the attempted murder of another Glebelands resident. But there were others – police members – also implicated in Ndovela’s murder. Bhani did not act alone. Glebelands will never be free of violence and fear unless officers colluding with killers are brought to book. The late Sipho Ndovela was the former Block 56 chairperson. He ran a small tuckshop and provided security at a nearby taxi rank.
The ongoing political motivated killings in Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi has claimed many lives and left families in disarray. Children are among the ones most affected by the violence.
Researcher and writer Vanessa Burger, who testified at the Moerane Commission on the violence wracking Glebelands hostel, writes that the hitman who shot Sindiso Magaqa in July can be traced to Glebelands.