The nobility and uprightness of a former bank robber who made it on ANC’s list of councillors have been questioned. Mkhuseli Gidla Nombewu made it to the top four on the ruling party’s list.
Information garnered from the list indicates he would be wrestling powers with rivals for the Buffalo City Metro in the Eastern Cape.
However, his nomination raised thick dust within the party, having gone down bad with many party members.
The former bank robber was a former Umkhonto WeSizwe (MK) operative and was arrested in 1993. Nombuwe shocked many people after he claimed that his crime was motivated by politics and that it was the late SACP general secretary, Chris Hani who sponsored him and his comrades to commit the robbery.
He said, “I am clean‚ if anyone wants me to be vetted they can request for that again.”
Also, Chris Nani called us and said ‘Comrades this thing‚ they [the national executive of the ANC] have done it in my absence… in terms of your military underground work and funding‚ there will be no military trained and armed men who will come to me and say they do not have funds to operate because there are funds… there are financial institutions with money lying (there).’ That is what Chris said; it was not only me.
This thing was an instruction of Chris during suspension of MK armed activities. The ANC has stopped our operations‚ let us arm as many people as possible so that when the negotiations fail we can be able to take up arms’. This is why we were pardoned.”
Following his nomination, many cautioned the ANC to be shrewd in making sensitive moves as regards to nomination of electoral candidates, considering the thickness of dark cloud hanging over them.
Defending himself, Mkhuseli Gidla Nombewu stated that he admitted his wrongdoings and have also paid for his crime, irrespective of the fact that he received a presidential pardon in 2011.
He alleged also that his critics are apparently propelled by jealousy, hence, why they want him delisted as the ANC’s candidate.
Recounting his past, the ex-con disclosed how he would would to rob people with a gun and with his colleagues. He said, “…. I cannot hide that… some got caught‚ some succeeded. We continued arming our people‚ arming the masses.”
Mkhuseli Gidla Nombewu however, divulged that he was finally apprehended in King William’s Town and was sentenced in 1994 to seven years. Subsequently, he served, then applied for a presidential pardon.
“It was not only me but with many others and Apla comrades and we got pardoned. That is why when I was vetted you could not see a criminal record‚” he added.
Meanwhile, other names at the top of the list include current mayor Alfred Mtsi and his deputy Xola Pakati and 43 other persons.