Premier says violence and murder are normalised

2017-09-10 11:11
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Last year, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu established a commission of inquiry into political killings. It had a hefty R15m budget.

The commission, chaired by Advocate Marumo Moerane, is expected to complete its work at the end of this year.

However, Mchunu says the campaign to disarm civilians is crucial to restoring peace in the province. It will only succeed if society adopts a new mind-set and reports illegal firearms.

Defending what has appeared to be inaction from government, Mchunu says there have been numerous calls to hand in illegal firearms, along with offers of amnesty.

Despite a number of raids in homes and hostels, there are many unrecovered firearms in the province.

Mchunu expressed a sense of helplessness about efforts to police the violence. There had so far been no successful long-term interventions.

“We have had assistance from national ministers of police time and again. As soon as you get reinforcements from national police, it is quiet. We have been blamed at times that we have police deployed in an area until they get used to people and the people get used to them. The police become co-opted. As soon as you remove those police, because they cannot be permanent, you start from scratch.”

He said there were grave cost implications for bringing in police officers from other provinces on a rotational basis.

“I wouldn’t say it is that easy. Every police task is budgeted for. Now there are things you would not be able to budget for. Everybody works within that budget,” he said.

“Our laws are so labour friendly that you must take into account the labour rights of those people. It is a plan that takes you time to master before you can put it into place.”

Mchunu acknowledged that killings in the province peaked during election time.

While killings of a political nature were under the spotlight, Mchunu said the province’s residents had grown accustomed to using violence and murder to settle scores.

He said this extended beyond politics to personal relationships.

“We are the only ones who have people from amakhosi fighting for one reason or another. One day people go to umemulo [the right-of-passage ceremony]. They kill one another there. When you trace what the real problem is, you find that it can be a girl. That is how our society in this province has grown up.

“Sometimes, we just fight over a woman and maybe she doesn’t like both of us, but for some reason we fight over her. At times, even building a homestead or getting a plot of land has led to killing. The effect of this is that it has left people armed.”

He traces the problem back to years of violence between the members of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the United Democratic Front, which led to communities being trained and armed.

“There were self-protection units [IFP-aligned defence units] that we know of, but, at the same time, that also attracted ANC self-defence units. All these wars were not fought with fists and stones, they were fought with arms.

“I am not aware of any successful operation that has disarmed the province. Our communities still remain very much armed,” he said.

Read more on:    willies mchunu  |  political killings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.