Two African National Congress (ANC) members from Ward 6 in Mid Illovo in the KwaZulu-Natal-Midlands who survived an attack at the weekend say they are now living in fear.
Thirty-two-year-old Ntobe Shezi is a candidate for councillor in the 2021 Local Government Elections.
Shezi and her sister Thabisile have been forced to leave their home at KwaDwengu in Mid-Illovo following their attack.
They believe that they were targetted because Ntobe Shezi received a significant number of votes for the position of councillor ahead of the upcoming polls.
Less than a month ago, their brother, who they say was also an ANC member at the same branch, was shot and killed at their home.
The family believes his death could be politically motivated.
Thabisile Shezi says that there were tensions even in the build-up to the nominations.
“We were on our way home after voting when seven vehicles transporting some people who had been in a meeting with us, these people came to our home and opened fire towards all the people who were at home. Fortunately, we escaped unharmed. Even during the voting process, there were some tensions which made some people to be scared. I think the tensions are caused by that when these processes start, all the people have their preferred candidates.”
Attacks on women
Ntobe Shezi says she believes there are deliberate attacks on women who want to run for positions at branch level.
“People who attacked us are people who do not believe that women are capable of holding high positions. In the build-up, some people were receiving threats from people who were saying they cannot be led by a woman, they have their preferred candidates. These people are undermining women. Even the cars that were supposed to transport my supporters were not allowed.”
ANC coordinator in the Moses Mabhida region, Mandla Zondi, says they are still waiting for a full report from the branch leadership around the incident.
The Shezi sisters have reported the matter to police.
Zondi has urged the community and ANC members not to resort to violence to resolve their differences.
KwaZulu-Natal has a grim history of politically motivated violence and killings.
The 2016 Moerane Commission was set up to investigate this.
The 2018 report on the Commission’s findings notes criminal acts of politicians and an improvement in the internal structures in South African politics.
During the Moerane Commission hearing in 2017, Professor Paulus Zulu from the University of KwaZulu-Natal said an academic study showed that the province has a culture of blood-letting mainly for positions in social and political structures.
In the related video below from 2017, Zulu cited competition for councillor positions, leading to some killing each other: