Cele promises quick arrest in Samwu members’ murders

Bheki Cele
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Minister of Police Bheki Cele has assured the families of two slain senior members of the Trade Union Samwu in Limpopo that they will make an arrest in the shortest possible time.

Cele has visited the families of Ronald Mani and Timson Musetsho in Lufule outside Thohoyandou to give an update on police investigations.

Mani and Musetsho died after being shot in two separates incidents around Thohoyandou.

They were in the forefront fighting for the suspension and arrest of municipal officials and councillors involved in the VBS Mutual Bank saga.

Cele held a meeting with various stakeholders at Sibasa outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo in a mission to end instability in the Vhembe district municipality.

Cele had closed and separate meetings with the MEC for Community Safety, ANC provincial secretary, the executive mayor of Vhembe district municipality, Worker’s federation Cosatu and some community representatives. He also visited the slain members’ families to give them an update on the police investigation. Cele says they will act hard against any police officer who colluded with gangster groups which are terrorizing communities in the Vhembe region.

“The first intervention to make will be to arrest the criminals that should happen in the shortest possible  time. There are political matters that I will take to the political structures, but here we are here to deal with criminal activities. The community, they raise issues here that some of our officers on the ground to such an extent they go and accuse them of colluding, sometimes with criminals, and we are going to be very hard on any police officer that colludes with criminals.”

The families of the two slain senior members of the Trade Union says members of the Regional Executive Committee (REC) in the  Vhembe region and some people implicated in the VBS saga will not be welcome in the funeral to be held next weekend. Family spokesperson Mashudu Mani says the two deaths could have been avoided if the ANC REC in the Vhembe region listened to the demands of the union.

“We want to give him a dignified burial. There are those he said before, that he does not want them during his funeral; all those who are involved in the VBS saga. Let us respect his last two words that is our plea.”

Cosatu Provincial secretary in Limpopo Gerald Thwala says the trade union is confident that the intervention of the Police Minister will speed up the arrest of criminals who shot and killed the two Samwu senior officials.

“This kind of incident from last year as we are speaking there’s no arrest. This one needs the Minister of Police to come so that we are able to take him to confidence on our concerns. We continue to be worried up until today there are no arrest and these killers are still roaming the streets of Vhembe and Limpopo. We don’t know who is next. The safety and security of our leaders is a priority.”

ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane says they will wait for a report from the region to get details on the demands tabled by Samwu in relation with the situation in the Vhembe district municipality.

“There is no matter which has formally come to us because the matter that you are talking about now is occurring in the regional level, once the REC concludes discussions with Samwu. We always believe that they will come to the PEC and share their discussion with us, we welcome the response of the Minister. We have had discussions with him on security issues.”

A joint memorial service will be held on Thursday while a joint funeral will be next Saturday. Some Samwu senior members in the Vhembe district municipality have been in hiding, fearing for their lives since the start of instability in the municipality.