POLICE ARE investigating whether or not former ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa was poisoned in hospital‚ where he was recovering from a gunshot wound sustained during an ambush in July.
One of Magaqa’s neighbours‚ speaking on condition of anonymity‚ said rumours were surfacing that it was not the multiple gunshot wounds that had killed him — but something more suspicious.
“It is suspected that Super [a nickname given to Magaqa] was poisoned because he was recovering. But then he was hit by a stomach bug‚ then just died‚” the neighbour said.
Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said: “We have heard that [he was poisoned]‚ of course‚ so we have to do a post-mortem. We will only know for sure after that.”
Asked if the post-mortem was being prioritised because of the rumour‚ Mulaudzi said: “Yes‚ for sure.”
“We’re still trying to ascertain what transpired‚ whether it was because of his injuries. There’s a lot we’re still looking at. We don’t want to make unnecessary pronouncements. What I can say is that a murder case has been opened linked to the shooting [in July]‚” he said.
Shortly after 6pm on July 13‚ Magaqa‚ a councillor at the Umzimkhulu municipality‚ and two of his councillor colleagues were ambushed outside a shop on the outskirts of the southern KwaZulu-Natal town. At least 12 rounds were fired into the car‚ probably from a high-powered rifle. A week later‚ police released identikits of two people believed to have been involved in the shooting.
Mulaudzi said the police were also checking a tip-off that one of the two wanted men was killed after a shootout between police and a suspected a cash-in-transit height gang in Durban last week. The second man was apparently one of the gang members injured and taken to hospital.
“Waiting for the [investigation] team leader to confirm some information that we have about the two. There were some firearms picked up from the scene‚ so we just want to make sure the information from our sources is correct‚” he said.
Umzimkhulu deputy mayor Sindi Nkala said Magaqa was under such heavy protection that she wasn’t even allowed to visit him.
“Last time I checked he was at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban. He was under heavy protection‚ even I was not on the list of those allowed to go see him. Access to him was heavily controlled. We were hoping he was going to make it. This is devastating. It just never ends here in Umzimkhulu‚” she said.
Meanwhile, the ruling party has sent messages of condolences to the family.
It is with grave sadness that the African National Congress has received the news of the passing on of a young lion and one of our movement’s most brave and fearless fighters, Comrade Sindiso Magaqa.
“A former Secretary General of the African National Congress Youth League, Comrade Magaqa was part of a generation of young people in the ANC who fought tirelessly for the realization of the vision of economic freedom.
Elected at the ANC Youth League’s 24th National Congress, he formed part of a collective which lived true to the clarion call by Frantz Fanon, that “each generation, out of relative obscurity, must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it”.
For their commitment to their convictions, Comrade Magaqa and his comrades suffered differences with the leadership of the organization and marginalization within the structures of the movement,” read the media statement.
“May the Magaqa family find solace in the knowledge that we painfully share their loss and thank them for having borrowed the ANC and the country this incomparable son of the Soil,” reports Sydney Morweng-news editor.