A RESPECTED KwaZulu Natal violence monitor and researcher has written to the provincial commissioner of police seeking an explanation on procedural matters relating to the arrest of whistle-blower Thabiso Zulu.
Zulu appeared on Thursday at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate Court facing charges of incitement of violence.
He was released on free bail.
He is accused of leading a community protest against the ward 29 councillor Sphamandla Madlala who was accused by residents of corruption and hampering service delivery.
Madlala is ANC councillor in Copesville area under the uMsunduzi local municipality.
KwaZulu-Natal based violence monitor and researcher, Mary de Haas believes the unprecedented arrest of corruption buster Zulu was part of a concerted effort to victimise his stance on corruption.
De Haas was commenting in the aftermath of the arrest of Zulu on Wednesday night.
He was allegedly ambushed at his Pietermaritzburg home by people who had disguised their identity.
It later emerged that the men were apparently police officers assigned under the Public Order Policing Unit.
“The manner in which he was arrested raises many questions because if the police really had something on him, they could have effected the arrest during the day. But they waited until it was dark and very late at night and went to an extent of hiding their identities,” said de Haas.
De Haas said she had regularly interacted with Zulu and even on the night of his arrest, he phoned him seeking her assistance.
“When he called me he was in a state of shock wondering what was going on. I don’t blame him for being terrified because it is a fact that his life is in danger after speaking out against corruption,” she added.
Vanessa Burger, an independent community activist for human rights and justice called for the arrest of police officers for victimising Zulu.
“Thabiso’s arrest and assault is the culmination of arguably the most blatant example of political use and abuse of criminal justice since the end of apartheid. But while his track record speaks for itself, more recent events speaks volumes more,” said Burger.
She added that an investigation should be instituted to probe the conduct of police officers who raided and arrested Zulu at his home.
“We demand that police immediately withdraw their bogus charges and instead arrest all police officers involved in the detention and assault of Thabiso and fellow Copesville community members and these so-called police are charged amongst other crimes defeating the ends of justice. Then arrest their political handlers. And if anything should happen to Thabiso, we will know where to point fingers,” she said.
Zulu, a former ANC Youth League leader in Harry Gwala district was a key witness summoned to testify at the Moerane Commission of Inquiry which was probing politically linked assassinations in the province.
He was also instrumental in exposing corruption at uMzimkhulu local municipality relating to a R37 million tender.
The tender was apparently the trigger of the shooting that took the life of Sindiso Magaqa, former ANC Youth League secretary.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE METROS STAFF)