Task team to investigate political killings

2016-06-05 16:44
Police Minister  Nathi Nhleko. (Nardus Engelbrecht, AFP)

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. (Nardus Engelbrecht, AFP)

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Cape Town – A task team has been set up to investigate the rise in the number of political killings, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said on Sunday.

In a statement, Nhleko expressed serious concerns over the number of murders linked to politics.

"We have noted, with serious concern, the incidents of killings, particularly where political figures are victims or where the killings are being linked to the upcoming local government. A situation like this cannot be allowed to continue, especially in the context of democracy,” he said.

Leaders killed

He said a multi-disciplinary task team had been set up to investigate and prevent the murders. The team would include members from different units, including crime intelligence, detectives, the Hawks and forensics.

A number of political leaders have been killed in the build-up to the local government elections, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal.

Last week, Mpofana chief financial officer, Simo Mncwabe, was brutally murdered, while Nathi Hlongwa – who served as a branch chairperson – was killed in in Edendale near Pietermaritzburg.

These murders include the shooting of Mpumalanga ANC deputy secretary, Michael 'Zane' Phelembe, at his home in Pienaar, outside Mbombela.

Plea for information

Nhleko called on members of the public and political parties to come forward with information. 

"We appeal to all responsible South Africans who value their democracy to ensure that this situation is not allowed to continue, by giving information at their disposal to the police so that these killings can be stopped and for perpetrators to face the full might of the law," said Nhleko.

He appealed to South Africans to refrain from instigating violence or using inflammatory language in the build-up to the local government elections on August 3.

"This is also an appeal to political leaders and parties to give democracy a chance and allow all to exercise their political freedom as enshrined in the Constitution," he said.

Read more on:    nathi nhleko  |  cape town  |  politics  |  crime  |  local elections 2016

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