Na­tional par­lia­men­tary probe into KZN killings

Daily News - - NEWS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

THE spate of po­lit­i­cal killings in KwaZulu-Natal is re­ceiv­ing na­tional at­ten­tion, with a group of MPs to grill top of­fi­cials in the po­lice over the mur­ders and the po­lice watch­dog.

Chair­man of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on po­lice, Francois Beuk­man, said yes­ter­day that their visit to the prov­ince, which starts to­day and ends on Fri­day, would in­form them of ac­tion that needed to be taken.

Other than vis­its to po­lice sta­tions in Em­pan­geni, Non­goma, Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, uMlazi and Chatsworth, MPs would meet of­fi­cials and the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Di­rec­torate (Ipid) on the sit­u­a­tion.

KZN has been en­gulfed by po­lit­i­cal mur­ders over the past few years.

Most of the killings have been of ANC coun­cil­lors.

The killing of ANC coun­cil­lors and other top of­fi­cials in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in­creased last year, in the build-up to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions in Au­gust.

There have since been more than 20 ANC coun­cil­lors and of­fi­cials slain.

The po­lice have set up a spe­cial task team to probe the po­lit­i­cal mur­ders in the prov­ince.

Three weeks ago, three ANC coun­cil­lors sur­vived an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt af­ter they were shot at in uMz­imkulu.

The prov­ince is also grap­pling with mur­ders at Gle­be­lands Hos­tel, which ex­perts said was a hot­bed for hired hit­men.

Beuk­man said they would meet Ipid on the ev­i­dence that came out of the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry set up by KZN Premier Wil­lies Mchunu.

The com­mis­sion has heard ev­i­dence of po­lice of­fi­cers col­lud­ing with the killers and not ar­rest­ing the per­pe­tra­tors.

Beuk­man said they wanted Ipid to talk about the ev­i­dence from the com­mis­sion on the po­lice, and the ac­tion taken.

He said they would visit po­lice sta­tions to look at the state of polic­ing in the prov­ince, and travel to ar­eas where they would meet stake­hold­ers.

Af­ter the over­sight visit, the com­mit­tee would draw up a re­port that would be tabled in Par­lia­ment with rec­om­men­da­tions on what needed to be done.

Act­ing head of the Hawks Lt-Gen Yolisa Matakata would also meet the com­mit­tee in Dur­ban this week.

The meet­ing fol­lows a re­cent bur­glary at the Hawks of­fices in Pre­to­ria. MPs have ex­pressed con­cern about the bur­glary.

Matakata has been at the helm of the unit over the past four months af­ter she took over from Bern­ing Ntle­meza.

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