Kidnapping of Gijimani raises eyebrows

A high-ranking police investigator has been allocated the case of the kidnapping drama of Dr JS Moroka mayor Gijimani Skhosana.

The female detective, a lieutenant-colonel, will investigate the four men who kidnapped and robbed JS Moroka mayor Gijimani Skhosana and dumped him in Kwaggafontein, running away with his black Golf 6 GTI.

The kidnappers then drove few kilometres before abandoning the mayor’s car in the same Kwaggafontein area, in Section A.

Mpumalanga police boss lieutenant-general Mondli Zuma late on Thursday morning issued a statement and asked anybody with information to please call detective lieutenant-colonel Dudu Poto, saying his office will make sure that those who “trample on other people’s basic rights” will have to face the full might of the law.

The incident happened on Wednesday night – after 9pm – and 5 months after Skhosana’s persona assistant Nicholas Peu was shot dead.

SEE HERE: Killers of Nicholas Peu still at large

“Once again we are making an earnest appeal to the community to cooperate with the police in creating a safe and secure environment,” Zuma said in a statement.

Two sources in the provincial executive committee of the ANC in the Mpumalanga province told 013NEWS on Thursday afternoon that both the police provincial boss and Premier David Mabuza were made aware about the incident of Skhosana’s kidnapping on Wednesday night, at around 10pm, by Nkangala regional chairman Speedy Mashilo.

Kidnapping of Gijimani raises eyebrows

INCUMBENT: ANC Nkangala chairman Speedy Mashilo. ©MfisoDIGITAL/ZK.

Police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the four men were waiting outside Skhosana’s house in Siyabuswa’s Section D for him to arrive from work and when he got off his car to lock the gate, the men attacked  him.

“The miscreants allegedly threatened him with a firearm, forced him into the house and took a plasma screen TV.

“They then shoved him into his car and drove away with him,” Hlathi said, adding that detective lieutenant-colonel Dudu Poto was investigating a case of kidnapping and house robbery.

Skhosana’s spokeswoman Ramatsetse Masabata didn’t respond to texts on Thursday morning but a source in the JS Moroka municipality said when Skhosana was being taken by force his wife was there at home “and we heard she told neighbours about it”.

At least four of six ANC members across the Nkangala region who spoke to the 013NEWS reporter over the phone  said they believed Skhosana’s kidnapping was politically motivated as Skhosana was gaining support “in the 11th hour” ahead of the regional congress but two of the four said they didn’t understand how.

“We can’t say he stage-managed his own kidnapping seeing the injury he sustained in the head, also we can’t say it was the work of the other faction because they would have killed him outright. We will know later as investigations are still on,” said one of them on Thursday morning.

SEE ALSO: Sello Matshoga condemns kidnapping of Gijimani Skhosana

013NEWS has established that Skhosana is tipped to be Mashilo’s deputy when the region maintains the ‘status quo’ at its elective congress in few weeks to come.

It is understood that Mabuza has instructed regions to collapse all factions and forge consensus on leadership that is to be elected at the upcoming regional elective congresses which will take place in April.

However Skhosana is being lobbied by another faction opposed to Mashilo’s bid for a third term to emerge as the region’s chairman.

The faction says they believe Skhosana’s taking over from Mashilo will “re-energise and radicalise” the ANC in the region because he is young but it is unclear whether his election for the Nkangala’s number one post will be favourable to Mabuza who wants to emerge as the ANC’s deputy president on a slate that wants Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as president because Skhosana is seen to be having the backing of the SACP.

The SACP is opposed to Dlamini-Zuma and Mabuza ascending to the highest ANC offices and will rather follow Cosatu in its preference of current deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

SEE ALSO: Lobby group that wants Gijimani to replace Speedy begins work

(edited by ZK)

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