SACP’s Mapaila Escapes Death: Did you know that the second deputy general of the SA Communist Party (SACP) Solly Mapaila was almost assassinated on Monday, April 10, at the 24th anniversary commemoration of Chris Hani’s assassination?
Mapila’s escape from the horrific assassination was made known by the SACP in a statement on Wednesday.
Party spokesman Alex Mashilo said a gunman in a marquee followed Mapaila to Ekurhuleni, where he was billed to speak at Chris Hani memorial event and was part of a group that booed him when he took to the podium.
The SACP leader was earlier booed when he was called out to lay a wreath on Hani’s grave on behalf of the SACP. Chris Hani was the general secretary of the SACP at the time of his assassination.
Mashilo said the gunman’s plan was thwarted immediately he realised that there was a video recording capturing his action. In addition, he was frustrated and distratcted because Mapaila had an umbrella when he ascended to the stage because of a heavy rainstorm.
The hoodlum allegedly aborted his mission and fled the scene immediately Mapaila exited the podium after her told the crowd that he could no longer deliver his speech because of the storm.
The party’s deputy general secretary ascended the podium shortly after President Jacob Zuma, who was also at the event left just after delivering his speech.
The party’s statement said: “On Monday 10 April a rogue element produced a gun aimed at Solly Mapaila‚ SACP Second Deputy General Secretary. SACP’s Mapaila was ascending the stage to deliver the Party’s message at the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the assassination of Chris Hani‚ former SACP General Secretary who was murdered on 10 April 1993.
The gunman aborted his mission after what seemed to be an alert to him that he was exposed. In addition Mapaila had an umbrella because of a heavy rainstorm. This caused a distraction when he ascended the stage where he shortly announced that he could no longer deliver the SACP message because of the storm and quickly exited the podium.”
A traumatic Mapila told reporters that the motive of the gunman was very clear, saying he was hired to either intimidate or shoot him while speaking on behalf of the SACP at the event.
Meanwhile, the communist party said it would report the latest incident to the police and discuss it with the ANC and other alliance partners. It condemned the move, saying “they” wanted to repeat what they did with comrade Chris Hani, with Comrade Solly.
The SACP said those threatening Mapaila must know that he is not acting as an individual, but carrying out the mandate of the party collective.
The SACP and the ANC have been at each other’s throat recently following President Zuma’s dramatic and sudden cabinet reshuffle, among other things.
SACP’s Mapaila, in particular, has severally led calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down following his decision without consulting the partners.
Speculations have it that the assassination attempt was part of growing threats and hostilities towards SACP leaders around the country, as it took place against the backdrop of ongoing systemic murders of SACP members in Inchanga, KwaZulu-Natal.