Johannesburg – Another SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) official in Limpopo has been killed in the aftermath of the VBS Mutual Bank scandal, a union official said on Thursday.
Deputy provincial secretary Roland Mani was shot in Thohoyandou this week, the union said.
Samwu said a few days before the murder, there was an attempt to assassinate its former Limpopo chairperson Timson Tshililo, who is recovering in hospital. Both union leaders, employed at Vhembe district municipality, have been at the forefront of calling for the removal of Limpopo mayors who illegally invested municipal funds into the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank.
The union believes the shootings were part of a retaliation campaign against its officials because of their stance on mayors and municipal managers guilty of illegally depositing public funds into VBS, said Samwu.
”Comrade Mani led the union in various capacities at local and regional levels until his election as the Limpopo deputy provincial secretary in 2016. Comrade Mani was killed in cold blood just hours after attending a general meeting at his workplace, the Vhembe district municipality,” Samwu said.
”We are definitely convinced that the two shootings are related as both victims are employees of the Vhembe district municipality and have been in the forefront of protests which led to the removal of mayors who illegally invested money with the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank.”
Mani’s killing was the fourth shooting targeting Samwu provincial officials. Provincial secretary Patrick Aphane’s home at Ga-Kgobokwane village outside Marble Hall was sprayed with bullets in November last year by two armed men who then sped off. Aphane said he had just arrived home when the shooting happened.
No one was hurt.
The first casualty was Thabang Maupa, a local councillor at Tubatse Municipality, who was shot and killed late last year. The 42-year-old was found dead in his car.
African News Agency/ANA