Political killings ON THE RISE
Assasinations in KwaZulu-Natal have become a cause for concern
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 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