The ANC factional battles in the North West – over the selection of candidates for the upcoming local government elections in August – have claimed the life of an ANC and Cosatu member in Brits, Thabo Moroa, aged 35.
Also, Moss Molekwa, a Madibeng Local Municipality ANC councillor, survived an attempt on his life by unknown gunmen when returning from a funeral yesterday.
The killing of the 38-year-old Moroa marks the first fatal attack since the ANC’s selection of candidates began this year.
Over the past few months, ANC members in the Bojanala district of Rustenburg have suffered multiple injuries and it was reported that one of the victims was assaulted and that her injuries would affect her ability to have children.
Yesterday’s deadly attack was the first in the North West, while KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest number of fatal attacks compared to all the other provinces across the country.
ANC North West spokesman Gerald Modise has, however, dismissed the claim that Moroa’s death had anything to do with the selection of candidates for the forthcoming elections.
“Moroa was an ordinary member of the ANC in Maboloka, in the Madibeng rural North West.
“He was nominated to be a councillor for Ward 4 but declined.
“It is not correct that his death had anything to do with the selection of candidates,” Modise insisted.
The attackers struck in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The gunmen stormed into Moroa’s bedroom in his Brits home at about 2am and fired three shots at him while he was asleep.
They then went into another room, where they also fired shots at a 17-year-old boy.
Family members said the teenager was attacked after he began screaming for help moments after hearing gunshots being fired in the house.
Cosatu in Rustenburg believes the murder was politically motivated.
Moroa was employed as a personal assistant in the Bojanala District Municipality in Rustenburg.
He was also known as a key fighter against corruption in Madibeng Local Municipality as well as being opposed to councillors being imposed on communities.
Cosatu chairman in Rustenburg Maleho Gaonakala said Moroa took part in a trade union meeting in the town on Friday, where it was decided not to support candidates who had been imposed on the communities.
“In the meeting, Moroa stood up and said that the ANC must start to respect its guidelines on the appointment of candidates.
“He also said it cannot be right that Cosatu must support those candidates as that would betray the trust that the communities had placed on the ANC,” the Cosatu official said.
The meeting was also attended by two ANC provincial executive committee members, Lerato Teme and Kgetleng River Local Municipality mayor Kim Medupe.
Gaonakala said he believed the killing was political motivated.
“I am still asking myself who is next? Gaonakale asked.
He recalled the slaying of former ANC councillor Moss Phakoe in Rustenburg for raising issues of corruption.
His killers were still roaming the streets of Rustenburg without any consequences.
According to Gaonakale, these factional battles took centre stage during the Bojanala ANC regional list conference on May 26.
Gaonakala said some of the ANC members came armed with pangas and other dangerous weapons allegedly to influence the outcome of the candidates’ selection.
Gaonakala said Cosatu has vowed not to support candidates who were imposed on communities particularly in the Bojanala region in Rustenburg.
“As alliance leaders who have been outspoken about this issue we fear for our own lives.
“I have been advised on several occasions not to travel alone from meetings because I have also been vocal in questioning the processes followed,” he said.
Moroa’s sister Mankwang said the family was devastated by his death and suspected it was politically motivated because he fought for his community’s rights.
She said this was the second time an attempt was made on Moroa’s life after his house was also broken into in April by gunmen.
“He bled internally from the gun shots and died but the 17-year-old boy survived and is critical in hospital,” she said.
“He was outspoken and openly fought for his community.
“We are very proud of him for always putting his community’s interests first but we want to know why he had to die this way.”
Moroa is survived by his wife and two daughters. His wife is expecting their third child next month.
North West police spokesman Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said the police in Letlhabile, outside Brits, were investigating a case of housebreaking with intent to commit murder, murder and an attempted murder.
“This is after two suspects gained entrance into the house in which the victims were sleeping.
“The gunmen gained entrance through the window of the house,” Mokgwabone said.
Source: Sunday independent