Salga wants political killings specialised courts established

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The South African Local Government Association (Salga) in KwaZulu-Natal is calling for the establishment of specialised courts in order to speedily deal with cases of political killings. Salga says the recent surge of the killings of politicians in the province requires urgent intervention.

More than 20 councillors have been killed since September 2022.

Just six days ago, an IFP ward councillor Ndukwenhle Duma from Nongoma Local Municipality was attacked and killed in the Mtubatuba area. During the attack, school children were caught in the crossfire and one died while two others sustained serious injuries.

This incident has once again caused panic as the country gears up for this year’s general elections. Addressing a media briefing, Salga KZN Chairperson Thami Ntuli said these killings are causing instability at the local government level.

Another worrying factor for the association is the delays in successful prosecution. In 2018, the Justice and Security Cluster, at the behest of President Cyril Ramaphosa, set up a task team to investigate political killings.

While arrests have been made by the task team, some cases are still pending. One such matter is that of the late ANC Youth League Secretary-General Sindiso Magaqa who was killed in 2017.

Four men are still on trial for his murder.

“We are in support of a special court that will expedite cases which are related to the political killings, and we believe that that’s all the recommendations that can help to see the mitigation to these prevailing killings,” says Thami Ntuli, Salga KZN Chairperson.

Ntuli says municipalities must act with speed to ensure the safety of their councillors where a risk assessment is still done by police.

“We were recommending the amendment that will allow municipalities to develop policies that will afford councillors security even before they receive the outcome of risk assessment whenever they report that their life is not safe.”

Government and political parties have been urged to fully implement the recommendations of the Moerane Commission of Enquiry which probed the political killings.

The commission recommended amongst other things, that political parties embark on political education. Salga says its supports calls for minimum educational qualifications for councillors.

Video: KZN Political killings – Assassination is leading cause of death’: SALGA