Political killings raise concerns

STANDBY: Police have to probe political killings. PICTURE: FLICKR
Picture: FLICKR

The ANC in the province has expressed concern about the high number of political killings, calling on residents to be part of efforts to bring the killers to book.

“We call upon law enforcement agencies to act against killers who have no respect for human life. We equally encourage all our people to join hands in efforts to identify and isolate these criminals whose agenda is to undermine our resolve to build a safe province,” ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma, said.

This after political killings in the province escalated with several people killed in the past 12 months. On Saturday, National Freedom Party member and Umzinyathi district municipality former deputy mayor, Felamandla Mkhize, 58, became the latest victim after gunmen shot him in Dundee, northern KwaZuluNatal.

Mkhize’s killing followed that of two other political figures in the province, Alwin “Ace” Houston, a Ward 3 Umuziwabantu municipality councillor and the ANC Lower South Coast regional executive committee member, Thembinkosi Zoleka.

In Intshanga, west of Durban, at least 10 people have died since the outbreak of political violence in the province where the ANC and South African Communist Party (SACP) supporters were fighting over control of the area. More than six people, many of whom were either ANC or SACP members, are on trial for the killings.

In September last year, KZN Premier Willies Mchunu was forced to intervene and announce the launch of a commission of inquiry investigating the assassinations after a sharp rise in the killings during the build up to the local government elections.

With a R15m budget, the commission will conduct hearings across the province where hundreds of people are scheduled to testify.

The commission, which will investigate politically related murders in the province dating as far back as 2011, will be chaired by senior counsel Marumo Moerane. Other members of the commission include Vasu Gounden and Prof Cheryl Potgieter.

At least 20 people have been killed in the province since the beginning of the year in what are believed to be politically motivated murders.

The killings included 12 ANC leaders and three candidates who stood for the party in last year’s August 3 local polls.

Clive Ndou| provinces@thenewage.co.za