Po­lit­i­cal killings ON THE RISE

As­sas­i­na­tions in KwaZulu-Na­tal have be­come a cause for con­cern

Move! - - ISSUE - By Pheto Ra­makobya

DUR­ING apartheid, po­lit­i­cal killings were a mech­a­nism to in­tim­i­date vot­ers and the op­po­si­tion. More than 20 years have passed since apartheid ended, but po­lit­i­cal killings haven’t stopped, with re­ports of po­lit­i­cal as­sas­si­na­tions hog­ging head­lines in re­cent times.

THE AS­SAS­SI­NA­TIONS

The lat­est vic­tim of th­ese killings is for­mer ANC Youth League (ANCYL) sec­re­tarygen­eral, San­diso Ma­gaqa, who died at a Dur­ban hospi­tal re­cently af­ter an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt in July.

San­diso and two ward coun­cil­lors were re­turn­ing from an ANC re­gional meet­ing when they were shot by un­known as­sailants.

The Umz­imkhulu Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in KwaZulu-Na­tal has come un­der scru­tiny for pos­si­bly be­ing be­hind Ma­gaqa’s at­tack. The mo­tive for his death was that he planned to ex­pose al­leged cor­rup­tion at the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Dur­ing San­diso’s me­mo­rial ser­vice, his close friend, Thabiso Zulu, told mourn­ers that the for­mer ANCYL leader had proof that there was cor­rup­tion in­volv­ing a multi-mil­lion rand ten­der to ren­o­vate the Umz­imkhulu Me­mo­rial Hall.

Ear­lier this month, an ANC of­fi­cial, Nkosi­nathi Ng­cobo, was gunned down in the Harry Gwala Dis­trict, south of KwaZulu-Na­tal, mak­ing him the fifth ANC of­fi­cial to be killed in that re­gion this year. GOV­ERN­MENT STEPS IN Dur­ing Po­lice Min­is­ter, Fik­ile Mbalula’s, visit to the no­to­ri­ous Gle­be­lands Hos­tel in Um­lazi, Dur­ban, he said many of the po­lit­i­cal killings in KwaZulu-Na­tal in­volved cor­rup­tion and the abuse of state re­sources.

The hos­tel is mostly seen as a base for con­tract killers sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in po­lit­i­cal as­sas­si­na­tions in the prov­ince.

A few months back dur­ing a me­dia brief­ing about a spe­cial task team that was be­ing launched, the po­lice min­is­ter said the rise in po­lit­i­cal killings had now reached lev­els that re­quire the re­in­force­ment of the cur­rent in­ves­ti­gat­ing task team.

TASK TEAM IN­VES­TI­GATES KILLINGS

The min­is­ter says he has also in­structed the Hawks to in­ves­ti­gate the Umz­imkhulu Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and take a closer look at the ad­min­is­tra­tion of ten­der doc­u­ments and pro­cesses.

“An in­te­grated pro­vin­cial project task team com­pris­ing of the Hawks, de­tec­tives, crime in­tel­li­gence and NPA, which was es­tab­lished to deal with all of th­ese cases is do­ing a ster­ling job and the team is go­ing to be en­hanced,” he said.

The min­is­ter has re­acted to the most re­cent po­lit­i­cal killings in KwaZulu-Na­tal, say­ing that 40 peo­ple have been ar­rested since the es­tab­lish­ment of the task team and promised that they would make more ar­rests soon.

Po­lice Min­is­ter, Fik­ile Mbalula has launched a spe­cial task team to com­bat po­lit­i­cal killings

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