Special team for hot-spots

2011-03-22 00:00

IN an attempt to speed up prosecution of politically motivated offences in and around Estcourt, a special team of prosecutors has been sent in to be in charge of all politically related cases.

This was revealed at an all-party meeting in the Estcourt town hall, convened by MEC for Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, in his capacity as the head of a multi-party political party forum established by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The forum was set up the resurgence of political violence in certain KZN hot-spots in the run-up to the local government elections.

The meeting was attended by various political parties in uMtshezi, iMbabazane and Okhahlamba local municipalities as well as representatives of the South African Police Force, the business community and religious leaders.

Speaking at the meeting, which coincided with events to mark Human Rights Day, ­Mchunu said that besides the appointment of the special prosecutors’ team, the government is looking at the possibility of establishing a special court to try all politically related cases in the Estcourt area.

During yesterday’s meeting, the political parties committed themselves to tolerance and called for unfettered political activity in the area.

A task team of consisting of five representatives per political party as well as representatives from the business sector and religious leaders was established to meet frequently and to monitor the situation.

The Deputy Police Commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal, Major-General Khombinkosi Jula, told the meeting, “As police in KZN, it is our task to protect all communities without any fear or favour.

“We will increase the police presence in different hot-spots in the area of Estcourt and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that all perpetrators of political violence are brought to book.

“Before touching members of the community, perpetrators of violence must first kill themselves or face the police.”

The provincial electoral officer, Mawethu Mosery, warned political parties that the Independent Electoral Commission will not hesitate to nullify results or refuse to hold elections in areas engulfed by intimidation and violence.

He called on the parties to respect the code of conduct they had signed last Thursday, warning that transgressing the code might lead to a party being disqualified from contesting the elections.

“We will not hesitate to do that so that parties will learn to respect the law.”

Mchunu said the multi-party forum will visit other areas identified as hot-spots “to ensure that we hold a peaceful elections on May 18”.

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