Magaqa memorial hears pleas to end political killings

Executive comittee member Sindiso Magaqa during a special press conference held at Luthuli House in 2012
Picture: Antonio Muchave

Now that Sindiso Magaqa is no more‚ the guns in KwaZulu-Natal need to be silenced.

This was the plea made by speakers at Magaqa’s memorial service held at the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The former ANC Youth League secretary general was shot in a suspected ambush on July 13.

He was a ward councillor in Umzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and was with two ANC councillors at the time of the shooting. He died at Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban on September 4.

Speaking at the memorial‚ former Gauteng ANC Youth League chairperson Lebogang Maile mentioned some of the reasons for intolerance and violence among members of the ANC. Maile called on the party to address these issues to ensure stability.

“The reason we are here today is because things are not well in the ANC. It is not a problem that is in KZN only. We see in different parts of our country comrades killing each other for positions. Comrades are killing each other because of greed‚ factionalism and corruption‚” Maile said.

“Unless as the ANC we own up and we become honest about the challenges we face‚ we will continue to burry comrades. We will continue having senseless killings of our comrades in different parts of our country.”

Magaqa’s wife and some members of his family attended the Soweto memorial.

Some senior members of the ANC‚ including Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane and Zizi Kodwa‚ were present. Clad in their ANC regalia‚ the audience was in a celebratory mood as they sang revolutionary songs in honour of Magaqa.

Speakers praised Magaqa for being a fearless leader who stood at the frontline in the call for economic freedom.

Ronald Lamola‚ a former deputy president of the youth league‚ urged members to follow in Magaqa’s footsteps.

“This generation of ours must never be deterred by those who brutally killed comrade Magaqa. The killing of comrade Magaqa must nourish economic freedom. It must never be silenced. Our generation must make sure it lives forever‚” Lamola said.

Things took a confrontational turn when ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuza was given an opportunity to address the audience. Groups of ANCYL supporters disrupted Nzuza’s speech as they broke out in song and dance‚ refusing to listen.

The chaos halted the programme. Marshals and men in military gear were instructed to usher out anyone not willing to listen. A number of people were taken out of the hall.

“In his honour we must never rest until the economy is returned to the hands of the people. Magaqa was a loyal cadre to the ANC. He never left the ANC because he did not join the organisation for positions. The problem we now face in the movement is people who join the organisation for positions and they are willing to do anything to make sure they continue to hold on to those positions‚” said Nzuza as only a few people paid attention to his address.

Magaqa’s second memorial service will be held on Thursday in KwaZulu-Natal. He will be buried in the province this weekend.

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