Nehawu regional secretary fears for his life
SACP leader in KwaZulu-Natal Khaye Mkhwanyana has been shocked by an attempt on his life by unknown assailants at his home in Pietermaritzburg
Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Mkhwanyana, who had been trying to keep his dramatic escape from criminals under wraps, said while the political environment in KwaZulu-Natal was "poisoned", the attempted assassination seemed to be linked to tensions within the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, for which he is regional secretary.
"It's bad because I have been receiving death threats, and the (threatening) SMSes that came through my phone directly referred to my position as secretary.
"(The detractors said) that I must vacate it (the position), and that they knew my every move and would kill me. We have problems in Nehawu. This is an internal thing," he said.
Mkhwanyana was attacked in the driveway of his home by three gun-wielding assailants about two weeks ago. He said he was beaten up and pistol-whipped. Neighbours, who had heard the commotion, came to his rescue as the men tried to escape in his car, but they crashed.
Mkhwanyana said he lost consciousness and woke up to find his phones and wallet had been stolen. The outspoken leader believed he was followed from a Nehawu gathering. Mkhwanyana dismissed his attack as being linked to the upcoming ANC provincial conference in December. It is an open secret that KwaZulu-Natal backs Zuma's second term.
Sowetan understands Mkhwanyana got into trouble after Nehawu's provincial congress in March, where he contended and lost to incumbent chairman Zola Sapheta. He had been informed of a plot against him as early as June, but had not reported the matter to police.
Nehawu national spokesman Sizwe Pamla confirmed that the union has since beefed up security around its leaders.