Murder before Mangaung
The North West ANC leader shot dead at his Klerksdorp home on Friday was due to testify in court against party dissidents on the day of his murder.
David Mosiane Chika, the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District’s regional secretary, was shot in the stomach outside his home in the early hours of Friday morning.
City Press has learned that he was due to testify in a case in which ANC members from the North West had asked the court to declare the results of the provincial conference null and void.
The complainants alleged election results had been manipulated and they had been replaced by “bogus delegates”.
Chika was due to travel to the Mahikeng High Court on Friday morning to testify against the dissidents.
Distraught Klerksdorp mayor Mike Khauoe, who visited Chika’s grieving family on Friday, told City Press he believed Chika’s murder was related to “political disagreements”.
Khauoe said: “The road to Mangaung might have had an effect. Chika was also going to be a witness in court in Mahikeng as the secretary of the region. He was the one who was going to testify to say: ‘I’m the secretary of the region and these parallel structures (represented by the dissidents) were never launched properly’.
“I know there are people who don’t care he is dead. There are people who are already rejoicing over this,” said Khauoe.
Outside the two-bedroom home Chika shared with his wife, Jeanette, and two children, a small group of ANC supporters gathered in the wake of the shooting, chanting slogans and calling for his killers to be brought to book.
Jeanette Chika spoke briefly about how her husband died in her arms.
She said Chika called her from the gate just before 1am, telling her he had seen someone lurking outside their yard.
When her husband went to investigate, she heard a shot and she ran out to find him bleeding.
She screamed for help.
She and a few neighbours rushed him to a local hospital – but he was dead on arrival.
Chika – a former member of the SA National Civic Organisation, the SA Communist Party and the ANC Youth League – was destined for great things in the ANC, according to those who worked closely with him.
SA Community Party provincial secretary Madoda Sambatha urged police to solve the murder quickly. He urged the ANC to take decisive action.
“Mangaung must send a clear message of rooting out the criminal elements that have infiltrated the ANC because some individuals are no longer interested in politics.
“They are lured to the ANC for criminality and they are used by those in politics to eliminate those they don’t agree with. The ANC must eliminate this.”
Lucy Ngwabeni, the ANC Women’s League coordinator in the region, said: “Our blood is boiling. We want justice to be done. The ANC in Mangaung must get rid of these bad apples because they are tarnishing our image.
“This murder is politically motivated. It means the ANC cannot hide criminals inside the ANC. Before we even start the Mangaung conference, there must be a clear message that the ANC will root out all criminals.”
Ngwabeni said Chika’s murder came as a surprise because the Dr Kenneth Kaunda region was viewed as the most “stable” in the entire province – but she admitted there were warning signs.
“We didn’t expect it, but when you look back the main issue has been the delegation being sent to Mangaung from this province.
“Chika has been working on the branches. He was the regional secretary and it was his duty to deal with the branches. It was his mandate. Others were interfering and intruding.”
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the shooting was a reflection of people fighting for positions in the party.
“People think if you are in a particular position, you are an obstacle. They want to remove you,” he told a briefing in Mangaung.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said a special team of experienced detectives had been assembled to investigate the murder.
The ANC members’ court bid was dismissed late on Friday.