Commission hears of R50 collections to fund 'hitmen' at Glebelands hostel

Durban – Corruption and financial pay-offs motivated the rise of hitmen at the infamous Glebelands hostel in Umlazi, a former resident told the Moerane Commission of Inquiry on Monday.

The witness said residents were afraid because police were involved in killings.

"Peace committee members were on a hit list. A local police constable would approve all hits.

"It is a shame there’ve been no murder convictions after all these years. If there were, we would feel safer."

He cannot be named for safety concerns. He lived in the hostel from 1989 until 2016, when he left because he no longer felt safe. He was a member of the peace committee, which KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu formed to address violence in the area.

"It was after the municipality and police failed to maintain peace. The death of people continued. It was an alternative to try to make peace. Though it still exists, members have been killed."

Politics, money, and criminality were behind the constant violence. He said the hitmen were ANC members.

He said police from outside Umlazi needed to replace those working at Glebelands.

Collections for hits

He said before each hit was carried out, every hostel resident was asked to contribute R50 to pay for it. People were afraid not to contribute for the sake of their safety.

Earlier, human rights activist Vanessa Burger testified that the collections were used to fund hitmen before assassinations take place.

Mchunu established the commission in October 2016, chaired by advocate Marumo Moerane, to investigate the high number of political killings in the province since 2011.

Since March 13, 2014, 89 people had been killed in the area and no arrests had been made, Burger said earlier.


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