Bank robber and ANC candidate condemned for claiming he was sent by Hani

JUNE 7, 2016

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Buffalo City Region on Sunday convened its first District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting in East London where it condemned "the misuse of Cde Chris Hani’s name by a convicted bank robber".

According to the SACP Buffalo City Region Spokesperson, Ludwe Mnweba, the meeting condemned "with strongest contempt possible the opportunistic misuse of the name of our late General Secretary, Cde Chris Hani by a convicted criminal" as reported by a weekend newspaper.

"Mkhuseli Nombewu, who served a jail term for robbing a bank has reportedly claimed that he robbed the bank under the instruction of Cde Chris Hani. This dragging of Chris Hani’s name into the mud reflects a credibility problem in the movement which we have been raising," he described.

"This convicted criminal, who lies about the people’s leader of Hani’s calibre, represents some of the rogue elements, who should have never been included in the ANC candidate list in the first place. These are but some of the challenges we will be confronted with if we refuse to remove criminals from our lists as the movement."

Nombewu, who made headlines when he appeared high on the ANC’s proportional representation list of candidates for the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, was arrested in 1993 following a bank robbery. 

The former Umkhonto WeSizwe (MK) operative claims that when they realised that they had a shortage of funds, it was the late Hani, who told them that they cannot say there is no money when the financial institutions had money and so he joined several people, who went to rob banks for the needed funds.

He was sentenced in 1994 to seven years for the crime. That is where things get tricky, he only got a presidential pardon in 2011 and insists that he has started on a clean slate and therefore cannot be denied a chance to represent his party.

SACP to campaign for ANC in 2016 Local Government Elections

The district also committed to campaign for an "overwhelming victory" of the African National Congress (ANC) in the upcoming Local Government Elections.

"We will mobilise our members, our supporters and the people to vote the ANC. This we will do in line with the SACP Congress resolutions to support the ANC. The ANC is our long standing ally, which we shared trenches with, for decades. The communists are the most loyal and reliable members of the ANC," Mnweba said.

"As we campaign for the ANC, we will continue to raise all the things that must be corrected. As the SACP in Skenjana Roji (Buffalo City Region), we have in many cases raised the issue of the influence and meddling of the suspended ANC Regional Secretary, Pumlani Mkolo, in the ANC list processes, the manipulation of the ANC Candidate list for factional benefits, the victimisation of SACP activists and genuine members of the ANC and subverting of the will of the people, factional dominance in the movement."

He said that the SACP has a long standing principle of always being loyal to the people at all material times.

"It is for that reason that we refuse to choose factions and fraudulent candidates at the expense of the people, as we have always said we will never campaign for imposed candidates, criminally charged people and known thieves," Mnweba said.

"It is in this context that we will be reporting these matters to the SACP Provincial Executive Committee for us to take an informed decision as it relates to many imposed candidates."