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MEC Manana orders probe into the “hit list”

The MEC for Community safety, security and liaison in Mpumalanga province has asked the Provincial Commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Thulani Ntobela, to set up an investigation into the alleged hit-list that contains the names of people who are blowing the whistle against corruption.
In a statement issued by the department, the MEC, Sibongile Manana, is quoted as saying that the purpose of the investigation was to establish the source of the allegations of a hit list.
“We are unaware of the hit list, and as long as people are not coming out with information to the police, this matter will remain rumours until an official investigation is concluded,” says Manana.
She also appealed to the affected families to remain calm until the investigations have been finalized and called on people who have information on the hit list to assist the police by supplying the information to the police.
The spokesperson for the Provincial Commissioner, Sibongile Nkosi confirmed that the MEC has ordered an investigation into the allegations of a hit list, but that they do not have the hit list in their possession.
“The provincial commissioner has no hit-list, except what we read in the media. We, however view the allegations of the existence of a hit-list in a very serious light,” she said.
She declined to comment if the police will be interviewing the journalist who first published the information.
The allegations of a hit list first surfaced immediately after the murder of Mbombela Local municipality Speaker, Jimmy Mohlala was killed a day before he opened a fraud charge against the directors of Lefika Emerging Equity, after they allegedly unsuccessfully tried to defraud First National Bank using a letterhead of the Mbombela local municipality.
His son was also shot on the foot at Kanyamazane in 2009.
Earlier this month when another high profile Mpumalanga resident, Sammy Mpatlanyane was executed, almost in the same manner, rumours of the hit list once more surfaced.
The motive for the murder of Mpatlanyane is still unknown.
Recently, a journalist who writes for a national newspaper wrote in articles that a hit-list exists and that it contains the names of at least two Mpumalanga journalists. He also wrote that both Mohlala and Mpatlanyane were on the same hit list. The story even became a subject of discussion on a national radio talk show, where the same journalist headlined.
Ziwaphi’s attempt to get the journalist proved fruitless and he also did not return messages left on his cell-phone.
Ziwaphi has also learnt that following the murder of Mbombela Municipality Speaker, Jimmy Mohlala in January 2009 there are people who have been deliberately spreading wrong information to divert police investigations in this murder.
To date the police have not been able to apprehend his killers in spite of a R100 000 reward that the police have put forward for information that may lead to the arrest of Mohlala’s assailants.
Mpumalanga journalists have recently been in the spot light on allegations that some of them are in the payroll of Mpumalanga politicians to prevent them from writing damaging articles against leading provincial politicians.
In one media article there were allegations that one of the journalists was driving a vehicle that was bought for him by a politician.
The spokesperson for the community safety, security and liaison, Joseph Mabuza said that the probe was aimed at proving an opportunity to those who may have the information that can assist in their investigation.
“The intention of the investigation is to afford those who have knowledge of the alleged hit list an opportunity to come forward. We don’t want to run after the media like it was the case with the etv story,” said Mabuza.

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