WHILE alleged criminal kingpin Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela was calm and collected in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday, the legal representative of naked protester Gugu Ncube dismissed the charges against his client.
Mathibela was represented by Anneline van den Heever, who told the court her client was not pleased at the many policemen wearing balaclavas and carrying R-5 rifles in the courtroom.
Van den Heever said their presence contravened Mathibela’s right to be presumed innocent by giving the impression he was guilty and dangerous.
Van den Heever then said Mathibela had instructed her to challenge his detention as unlawful because he was not arrested pursuant to a warrant of arrest.
In an affidavit, Mathibela said: “I have instructed them (his lawyers) to challenge this as a matter or urgency. I have been advised that for the reasons set out, my arrest and detention are unlawful and that it’s for the State to justify and prove the legality of my arrest.” Gauteng ANC secretary Jacob Khawe was quick to admit that the MEC’s utterances were racist.
“The comments were reckless and unacceptable,” he said.
Cosatu and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation joined calls for the expulsion of Mazibuko. Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said the outburst was a reflection of the abuse of workers by political leaders.
Mazibuko has since publicly apologised for her rant.
“I humble myself and apologise to Premier (David) Makhura and my colleagues in the provincial cabinet for the harm caused.
“I am willing to subject myself to whatever appropriate sanction to be imposed on me by Premier Makhura and my organisation,” Mazibuko said.
Makhura’s spokesperson Castro Ngobese confirmed the premier would meet Mazibuko. He would not be drawn to comment further.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation wanted Mazibuko gone and called on the foundation’s board members, Makhura and MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi to consider firing her.
The foundation’s executive director, Neeshan Balton, said it was “precisely the type of attitude exhibited by Mazibuko that led to the Life Esidimeni tragedy, where public officials were put under pressure by their political heads, resulting in improper and unethical decision making.”
DA Gauteng premier-elect Solly Msimanga alleged that Mazibuko’s conduct was proof that she wanted to use the construction of the combined courts “to win votes at all costs”.
EFF provincial chairperson Mandisa Mashego said the party would lay criminal charges for corruption against Mazibuko.
“It cannot be that a political principal can abuse and force officials to commit a crime, because it is a crime to use service delivery funds for purposes of elections. We know that this is not an isolated incident. It is happening in other departments,” Mashego said.
By Loyiso Sidimba - firstname.lastname@example.org
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