Amakhosi concerned about their safety in the wake of attacks on them

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Traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal have reiterated calls for justice in the wake of ongoing attacks on them. Representatives gathered at the Traditional Leaders Imbizo in Durban.

It is believed that since August last year, three amakhosi have been killed in the province, while at least 29 Izinduna – leaders who work under the Amakhosi – have been killed in the last two years.

Inkosi Mncube from Nquthu, Inkosi Mkhize from Pietemaritzburg and Inkosi Cele from Umdoni are among the amakhosi that have been killed since August last year.

Inkosi Makhosandile Ngcobo from Ezinqoleni in southern KwaZulu-Natal was kidnapped at gunpoint. He is still missing.

“Definitely, the traditional leadership in the province of KwaZulu-Natal is under attack. If you can count those that have brutally killed in front of their families, it is very sad and we believe the department can come with the solution. There is an MOU that was signed between Cogta and Safety and Security. If that can be practically implemented, safety issue can be the most important thing in the traditional leadership,” says Provincial Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Phathisiwe Chiliza.

Traditional leaders fear for their lives as some are killed in KwaZulu-Natal: 

Community involvement 

MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sipho Hlomuka says he is hopeful that the frank discussion is a step in the right direction.

“The purpose of the Imbizo is to engage and discuss to ensure how are we going to deal with the challenges that are facing as amakhosi. The reports tell us that more than 29 Izinduna have been killed in KZN. From now, we will go back to districts and engage the community as whatever is happening happens at the level of the community.”

Deputy Provincial Police Commissioner, Phumelele Makhoba, is appealing to community members to work with police to bring the perpetrators to book.

“You will remember that when crime occurs, police are not there, but members of the community are around. It is very crucial that they come forward with information and give us sworn statements. In order for the police to take the dockets to court, we need statements and evidence.”

In light of this, Inkosi Sphamandla Khumalo and Mabhudu Tembe say that people would feel safer coming forward with critical information if whistleblowers and amakhosi were offered police protection.

“We are sad about the killing of izinduna and amakhosi, but the government must provide traditional leaders with security as some issues come from family members. ”

The collaborative consultation between traditional leaders, government, and police comes at a critical time ahead of the 1 November local government elections, as such community leaders are expected to play a vital role in ensuring peace and stability.