Plessislaer affected by political killings

2017-06-07 06:00

PLESSISLAER is one of the areas that has been marred by politically linked murders since last year.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said the killings of leaders in the province has reached appalling levels and should be condemned in the strongest way by all sectors of society.

Mbalula was addressing the media in Chatsworth on Monday where he announced that a number of interventions are in place both by police and the KZN leadership to try and resolve the tension and stabilise affected areas.

The police minister said at least 33 murder cases are being investigated dating from January.

Areas in the spotlight include Inchanga, Plessislaer, Newcastle, Ladysmith, Escourt, Harding, Margate, Nongoma, Howick, Hlobane, and Gamalakhe at Pongola.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the use of violence as a way of settling differences between our people. It has always been a held view by the majority of our people that only dialogue can resolve our differences, not violence or confrontation,” said Mbalula­.

In Pietermaritzburg in June 2016, ANC Ward 15 activists Badedile Ntshapa and Phetheni Ngubane were gunned down on their way home from a branch meeting at Mehlokazulu High School.

Ntshapa died at the scene and Ngubane died in hospital a day later.

A suspect was arrested, but charges against him were later withdrawn due to insufficient evidence linking him to the case.

Their murders happened a week after Nathi Hlongwa, ANC Ward 12 branch chairman was gunned down on June 2 in Imbali.

Mbalula said the integrated Provincial Project Task Team comprising the Hawks, detectives, Crime Intelligence, LCRC and NPA that had been established to deal with all these cases will be enhanced.

“From January to April this year the police have conducted several operations in the affected areas which resulted in the recovery of over 1 510 firearms. Furthermore, the office of the premier and the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison has had a number of engagements with various stakeholders to bring about stability in the affected areas.

“We will be deploying additional members to this task team from the National Detective Services and the Hawks.

“This team will serve to enhance the current investigative capacity and they will have the services of the National Intervention Unit as well as the National Task Force when they are required. This team is mandated to immediately attend to, investigate and prosecute in all of these cases.”

Mbalula also emphasised community participation and tolerance to overcome the tensions and killings.

“We are urging people to assist the police with information, preferably before a crime is committed so that decisive action can be taken by our police officers on the ground.”


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