The Select Committee on Security and Justice have expressed shock at the arrest of the Endumeni mayor in KwaZulu-Natal, for allegedly plotting to have the municipality‘s speaker murdered.
Committee Chairperson Simphiwe Mtimunye said the committee noted the work of the province’s political task team in the arrest of Mayor Siboniso Mbatha, as well as the arrest of a councillor and a hitman.
Mtimunye said it was believed the speaker, Bongiwe Mbatha-Makhathini, had accused the mayor of corruption and undue influence in the awarding of tenders.
“The committee does not expect such behaviour from South Africans. It is even worse when coming from elected public representatives.
“We condemn such criminality in the harshest possible terms. No one should be taking the law into their own hands. This speaks directly to the political killings that are currently on the increase in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Mtimunye.
Mtimunye said the committee also welcomed the work done by police that led to the arrest of five suspects and the recovery of R4 million linked to cash-in-transit robberies.
The arrests come after weeks of cash-in-transit robberies and attempted robberies in Gauteng.
Mtimunye noted that the arrests were the result of close collaboration between the police and the private sector, which led to the arrest of several employees of a cash-in-transit company.
“We commend the work of the police. This type of collaboration is what the country needs to ensure criminals are put behind bars as soon as possible. This should serve as a warning for criminals that there is no place to hide,” Mtimunye said.
The committee also welcomed the appointment of General Godfrey Lebeya as the new head of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).
Mtimunye said the committee believed Lebeya had the correct skill sets to lead the Hawks
Lebeya takes over from the Acting Head, General Yoliswa Matakata.
Mtimunye said the committee wanted to express their gratitude to Matakata for her hard work and dedication in this post over the past 18 months.