Today, the criminal known as Kaizer Gwebu will appear before court in a bail proceeding following his re-arrest for the contravention of his parole conditions. It is imperative that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) oppose Gwebu’s bail application in the strongest terms. Gwebu is a hardened criminal and poses a direct threat to the safety of the public as well as the Lily Mine families, Mr Harry Mazibuko (official spokesperson to families), and those who support their cause.
Gwebu’s history of criminality is long and colourful. In January 2003, Gwebu was convicted of murder, armed robbery, and illegal possession of a gun and ammunition, for which he was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment. Additionally, he was implicated in the torching of the settlement where Lily Mine families have been staying, a clear violation of his bail conditions which remain in force till 2033. Since his arson attack, Gwebu, together with his accomplices, has relentlessly harassed both the Lily Mine families, their supporters, and Mazibuko. Most recently, it is alleged that at a meeting held on 6 June 2021, between the Royal House of Chief TS Dlamini, Mazibuko and former mine employees, Gwebu arrived unannounced and cause disruptions to the meeting – blocking buses transporting former mine employees back to their homes. Eventually, he was forced to vacate the premises by the royal house security.
It is intolerable that the Lily Mine families and their supporters are subjected to the prospect of further fear and intimidation at the hands of criminals such as Gwebu and his ilk. Indeed, when Gwebu was initially, and disappointingly, granted bail after his attack on the families, both he and his compatriots went out of their way to terrorise people fighting for justice. To set Gwebu loose on the public once more would be the highest form of injustice.
After 5 years of asking, petitioning, and pleading for government support regarding their plea to have their loved ones retrieved from the abandoned mine, the families at Lily Mine continue to be treated with disdain. Today, the NPA will have the opportunity to be one of the few institutions to do the right thing by these families. It is our hope that the NPA will work to restore the families’ and South African’s faith in the justice system by opposing Gwebu’s bail application. As ActionSA, we are not prepared to sit back and allow our criminal justice system to be hijacked by criminals, and we will continue to act and speak in defence of law-abiding citizens of our country without fear or favour.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to assist the Lily Mine families to have the container bearing the bodies of Yvonne Mnisi, Solomon Nyirenda, and Pretty Nkambule retrieved, so that their families can bury their loved one with dignity and that they may finally find closure.