KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli has set up a task team to investigate the killing of two political figures in the province on the same day.
On Monday, an African National Congress (ANC) Councillor and an ANC Youth League Branch Secretary were killed in Mtubatuba and Hammarsdale, respectively.

Six people have been killed in what is perceived to be politically-related attacks in KwaZulu-Natal since the beginning of the year.

In the latest incidents, ANC PR Councillor from the Mtubatuba Municipality, Philip Mkhwanazi, was shot multiple times at his home in the Dukuduku area at Mtubatuba, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

In a separate incident, ANC Youth League Branch Secretary, Thamsanqa Gcabashe, from Hammarsdale was gunned down near his home last night.

Intra-political fights 

Commenting after Gcabashe’s murder, ANC Youth League Secretary in KwaZulu-Natal, Thanduxolo Sabela, says there has been tension in Hammarsdale since 2016. He is calling on police to make a speedy arrest.

“We want law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in the investigation of this matter. Because in the recent past, it has been somewhat very clear that there is violence meted against young leaders in KZN.

The majority of people who have been assassinated in the spade of political killings in KZN have been young people. We are calling upon the minister of police and the entire law enforcement agencies to apprehend the killers. As the ANCYL, we have raised this with the leadership of the ANC that the processes that lead to the election of ward councillors have caused some tensions and problems in that ward,” Sabela explains.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Community Safety and Liaison, Bheki Ntuli, is appealing for calm as the police investigate the incidents.

“If the situation is like this we need to look at all fronts. Because you may not be too sure what is happening up until we finalise our investigation. We will then have the pointer in the right direction. Before the lockdown, we had already re-activated political intervention committee so that we are able to say the intra-political fights, the inter-political fights must be nipped in the bud so that we prepare for the local government elections.”

Root cause of killings

About 100 politicians were killed in the province in the build-up to the 2016 Local Government Elections. These killings led to the appointment of the Moerane Commission of Inquiry to investigate the root cause of these killings.

Political Analyst Professor Bheki Mngomezulu says it’s difficult to ascertain the root cause of these incidents as in the majority of these killings very few convictions have been made.

“Sometimes you find that these killings are hard to establish as to what their causal factors are. Because you have infighting within political parties, especially going into the elections. Everyone wants to get the position. So, then you find that some of these killings in fact start from within individual political parties and then others it’s inter-party killings and then thirdly, you have people who have their own issues, but then they use this time to basically eliminate their enemies, not necessarily on political grounds but on other reasons. But all said, it’s painting our province in a bad light.”

The police are calling on community members to come forward with information that can lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.