Home News Explosive threats made to ‘expose’ ANC leaders

Explosive threats made to ‘expose’ ANC leaders

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Key ANC leaders in the ZF Mgcawu region and the Northern Cape province are seeking legal advice and intend to open criminal charges following an explosive series of messages that seek to implicate them as being the masterminds behind the cold-blooded “political killing” of DA councillor Johannes Baaitjies.

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KEY ANC leaders in a local region and the Northern Cape province are seeking legal advice and intend to open criminal charges following an explosive series of messages that seek to implicate them as being the masterminds behind the cold-blooded “political killing” of DA councillor Johannes Baaitjies.

Baaitjes and his business partner Jeffrey Nouse were lured to a bogus business meeting between Danielskuil and Postmasburg in 2016. They were shot multiple times and left for dead along the side of the road.

Baaitjies was killed the day before he was to be sworn in as a councillor at the opposition-led Kgatelopele Municipality in the ZF Mgcawu District.

The murder resulted in a hung municipality, as the ANC held three seats and opposition parties had secured four seats during the local government elections, prior to Baaitjies’ death.

Four accused in the matter – Zoniselo Richard Magawu, Tshame Frank Baxane, Thompson Mncedisi Mphondomisa and Matthews Legodu – are currently serving double life sentences for the murders.

A co-accused, Richard Hasane, was sentenced to two 18-year imprisonment terms.

Charges against a sixth accused, Paulus Mgcera, were withdrawn following the death of a Section 204 witness.

Mgcera was elected as the mayor of the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality in 2020.

In 2023, Mgawu and Mphondomisa were sentenced in the Kuruman Magistrate’s Court to a further 10 years imprisonment each for an unrelated housebreaking case as well as the illegal possession of hunting rifles and ammunition.

A series of messages have now surfaced that seek to implicate senior ANC leaders as being the masterminds behind the killings.

While the origin of the messages has not been verified, the key ANC members mentioned are convinced that they know the identity of the sender and are taking the threats seriously.

The author of the WhatsApp messages accused the ANC leadership of abandoning him to languish in jail and of using him as a scapegoat.

“They must talk to a judge and at least reduce my sentence to 10 years. Then they must give me R10 million to start my life,” reads one of the messages.

The sender also requested financial assistance to fund his appeal as well as to provide support for his family.

“I really did not expect that my own movement would neglect me. They must not think that they will get away with it. I am really at breaking point.”

He claimed that a former Northern Cape premier had assisted him “in good faith”.

He further threatened to expose senior ANC members who had allegedly conspired to kill Baaitjes to enable the party to regain control of the local municipality.

“I don’t have peace of mind that my leaders are behind me after they tasked me to appoint assassins for Mr Baaitjies. I took the punch for the ANC, as I did not want it to be destroyed, and I thought that I would get financial support from the leadership. They are free and are enjoying top-class lives. My children are struggling to make ends meet and my mom is not well.”

He added that his family had been left to suffer without any assistance as he had lost his income.

“I am struggling to source funding for my appeal, to further my education, for toiletries and groceries. You can imagine what my children and wife have gone through for the past eight years.

“I unsuccessfully tried on a number of occasions to ask for help for food and medical funds. I never even received any prison visits because they have disassociated themselves from me. They even blocked my numbers.”

The author of the messages further recommended that the implicated individuals be excluded from the ANC candidate lists for the upcoming elections.

“These individuals did not think twice before misusing me. I am of the view that it will cause the ANC more harm in the outcome of the elections if this is not addressed properly.

“I have had to carry the cross of a life sentence for something I did not do. I was not the one who wanted the DA councillor or his associate dead. Now is the time to become selfish for my family’s sake, even if it will cost me my life.”

One of the persons who was mentioned in the messages explained that he had assisted the author as he understood how difficult life was behind bars.

“I can no longer afford to fund him anymore. I have appointed a lawyer to deal with the matter as I view his attempts as trying to extort money from me. It appears as if he has lost his senses. His aspersions are damaging my integrity.”

He stated that the messages were purposefully being circulated ahead of the elections.

“Everyone has their own agendas at this time. The accused were acting of their own accord and admitted that it was all about tenders. It is only one of the accused persons who is trying to extort money.”

ANC ZF Mgcawu regional secretary David Kazi stated that he had seen the “gross allegations” circulating on social media.

ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga questioned how a sentenced offender had access to a cellphone.

“He used to work for the ANC constituency office in Danielskuil. I stopped his salary when I was elected provincial secretary as I felt that someone accused of murder should not be entitled to a salary,” said Ngxanga.

A bank cheque was made out in his name in the amount of R32 673.78 in 2017 in lieu of a three-month advance on his salary, following his conviction.

Ngxanga stated that no staff member had been given permission to pay any advance to the accused.

“I was advised that the salary was stopped much later, after I had instructed that the payments be stopped.”

Ngxanga indicated that the accused was soliciting bribes from the ANC.

“He is threatening to implicate ANC members for the murders that he was convicted of.”

He also pointed out that the ANC would never give anyone a mandate of that nature.

ANC ZF Mgcawu regional chairperson Abraham Vosloo believed that law enforcement authorities should investigate the origin of the messages.

He also questioned why the threats were surfacing shortly before the upcoming elections on May 29.

“It appears to be an orchestrated attempt to unseat certain ANC leaders by having them removed from the candidate list,” Vosloo pointed out.

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