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Ses’khona People Rights Movement president and member of provincial parliament in the Western Cape, Andile Lili has questioned the effectiveness and relevance of the State Security Agency and the National Intelligence Unit in solving high profile cases that are linked to government tenders. Lili criticised the agency and the unit during the memorial service of his friend and co-founder of Ses’khona, Loyiso Nkohla.

Nkohla was gunned down in Philippi last week Monday as they were holding a meeting over the future of the families living along the central railway line in Cape Town.

“I would like media to ask the president on behalf of all of us as to why is the intelligence unit and state security sleeping on the job. Loyiso was running a big project that was going to help poor people and there are billions of rands that are involved in the project. There are different groups that he would have been a target of. There are unemployed people, there are Maphara-phara and there are also business organisations that are against the re-opening of the railway line up Khayelitsha. My question is: where is the intelligence? When we were leading Ses’khona with Loyiso, you would wake up everyday and see strange and suspicious people. I am in no way praising Jacob Zuma administration by saying this but the intelligence unit was very active,” said Lili.

According to a report by Sunday Times, the 40-year-old activist and businessmen had a contract with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to act as a community social mediator to facilitate the resettlement of families who occupied and erected shacks along the railway tracks in Philippi. The report further says that Nkohla confided in Lili that he was being extorted for a percentage of his earnings and that the threats had intensified before he was shot and killed.

“Everyone is aware of the high and growing levels of extortion crimes in Cape Town and the question is where is the intelligence unit in helping to solve such cases, especially if there are billions of state funds involved so that they arrest these dogs that killed Loyiso like he was a thug. We will complain about the police but the intelligence is sleeping on the job. People get killed in broad daylight,” said Lili.

Family comforting Nyameka Nkohla during the memorial service on Wednesday.

In 2019, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety released a report that revealed that police detectives are under-resourced, lack training and that their work is not guided by intelligence.

The report looks at 150 Western Cape police stations operating between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2017. “The purpose was to assess the level of compliance based on the SAPS standards, prescripts and instructions,” according to the Community Safety MEC’s office.

The police’s lack of preparedness is clear in that “71% of the detectives do not have informants”. Out of 2,785 detectives in the Western Cape, “91.7% have not received training in the Specialised Detective Learning Programme and 88.2% have not been trained to investigate fraud… 45.8% did not complete the Basic Detective Learning Programme and 57% of the detective commanders have not completed the requisite training,” according to the report.

About 500 mourners gathered at Mew Way Hall in Khayelitsha to pay last respects to Loyiso Nkohla.

Nkohla left party politics over a year ago to pursue his business interests. He joined the African National Congress and its youth league in 2004 and he left the ANC and Ses’khona to join the Democratic Alliance in 2016 and campaigned for the party during the 2016 local government election where he was rewarded with a position as advisor to the then Mayoral Committee member for Utility Services, Ernest Sonnenberg. His role was a controversial one and got the attention of the then Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane. According to the Cape Times, Nkohla was earning more than R700,000 a year. He then joined the Land Party before moving to the Patriotic Alliance.

Dr Mamphela Ramphele said Nkohla was a high impact person who agreed to be sent unlike those who will say “Thuma mina” and not be productive in their sending.

Speaking at the memorial service for the wife’s family, Dr Mamphela Ramphele praised Nkohla’s passion to stand for the marginalised. “Loyiso you inspired those on the margins of society to rise to that power in them, to occupy their place in the human family. You listened to the spirit of the creator imbued in you and agreed to be sent to be the light of those who are living in darkness. We are not talking about people who will say ‘Thuma mina’ and not be productive in their sending. Here was a high impact person who was sent to us,” said Ramphele.

Ramphele told the crowd that packed the Mew Way Hall in Khayelitsha that one need only to look around there to see clearly that the dream for full liberation from oppression from racism, sexism and all other exploitations has been betrayed for the last 29 years.

“It is wrong to label Loyiso as the poo man [poo thrower]. We the people of South Africa who deserve that label because we are the ones who have subjected our fellow citizens to that humiliation. Loyiso refused to acquiesce with the normalisation of inequalities in our society. It is my plea to all of us here today and elsewhere in the country, let us heed Loyiso’s message that he left with his last breath. The message is that South Africa will never be free until all citizens are treated with dignity and share in the wealth that is abundant in our country,” she said.