Mpumalanga police will not investigate a police captain who allegedly made death threats against a a staunch supporter of ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, because there was no case opened against the policeman.
The province’s police spokesperson, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said that there was no case opened against Malalane police station Branch Commander of the Detectives, Captain Mkhatshwa for allegedly threatening to kill ANC deputy chairperson in Nkomazi Ward 30 branch, Cyprian Mooca.
Mkhatshwa allegedly made the death threats during a police raid on Mooca’s house on the 29 December 2018.
The police were seeking to arrest Mooca, who is also known as Bricks, for his alleged involvement in a fight during an ANC branch general meeting that had been convened to nominate members of the provincial and national legislatures.
When they could not find him, Mkhatshwa allegedly threatened that a “tent would be erected” at Mooca’s house. The conversation was secretly recorded by Mooca’s family during the raid.
“Make sure that you and Bricks come to Malalane police station by 9 am, failing which, you will have to erect a (funeral) tent here,” says the voice believed to be Mkhatshwa’s.
“Erecting a tent” is a phrase that locals use that implies that someone will be killed and that there would be a funeral. In this part of the country, whenever there are funerals, local communities erect a tent in front of their houses where mourners gather for prayers with the bereaved families and night vigils before the funeral.
“That is what you want isn’t it? That I will do,” Mkhatshwa allegedly says in the sound clip.
It was at that stage that Mooca’s wife asks, “What tent are you referring to?”
“He’s undermining us,” responds the policeman.
“But what tent will be erected,” asked Mooca’s wife.
“It’s for a night vigil,” responded the policeman.
“So, you are going to kill him?” said Mooca’s wife.
“If Bricks wants us to be dismissed from work, I would not be dismissed for him,” says the policeman.
“Are you threatening to kill him?” asks Mooca’s wife again.
The policeman mumbles a few words and footsteps can be heard clearly in the audio as they get into a police vehicle which starts and leaves.
Hlathi had initially asked that the audio be sent to him to verify the authenticity of the claims, however, after he had been sent the audio clip, he said he could not confirm if the recorded voice was that of Mkhatshwa.
“I cannot confirm that the person who is speaking on the clip is indeed Captain Mkhatshwa unless there’s an investigation on the matter,” he said.
Notwithstanding the audio clip, Hlathi said there was no evidence to prove the allegations against Mkhatshwa.
“We do not have any evidence that suggests that there are allegations against Captain Mkhatshwa hence there’s no investigation against him,” he said.
According to Hlathi, Mooca had been evading arrest for a while following a fight that broke out between ANC factions in the province during an ANC branch general meeting that had been convened to nominate members of the provincial legislature and national assembly in November 2018.
Mooca, however, disputes Hlathi’s allegations. He said he was called to the police station and he complied and was made to write a statement. After a while he was told that there was no case against him.
He was subsequently arrested at around 4 am on 5 January 2019, and has since been released on bail.
Mooca says his family is now living in fear following the alleged death threats.
“We are worried if they would carry out their threats, and since then I’ve been forced into hiding, but I fear for my family’s safety,” said Mooca.
Mooca is a staunch supporter of ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
In 2017 he was badly assaulted during the ANC’s nomination processes in preparation for the organisation’s 54thNational Conference.
“I heard that people were paid to nominate a name of comrade Nkosazana (Dlamini-Zuma), but I asked branch members to be given a free space to voice who they want. They said they do not want anyone with another name except comrade Nkosazana, actually I was not even allowed to be in the meeting that is why they beat me,” said Mooca.
He said when he got home he found out that his daughter had been kidnapped, but was later be freed by CR17 comrades.
“When I got home I found out that my daughter who had been sent to the shops was accosted on the road and kidnapped but to be saved by CR17 comrades” said Mooca at the time.
ANC provincial secretary, Mandla Ndlovu said he was not aware of the incident and said he would not respond to people reporting to the media.
“I do not know about that incident, these people did not write a complaint. I’m hearing this from you now. I cannot respond to people who report to the media than the party. They must report to the region or the province If they feel like other wise even to the NECF they can report” said Ndlovu at the time.
Additional reporting by MK.