33 politically motivated murders in KZN since January 2016

2017-05-29 22:08
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. (Paul Herman, News24)

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Durban – Thirty three political murders have taken place in KwaZulu-Natal since January 2016, police minister Fikile Mbalula said on Monday.

The recent spate of killings of leaders in KZN has reached unprecedented and appalling levels which should be condemned in the strongest possible way by all sectors of society, said Mbalula.

He said the 33 cases are currently under investigation.

He was addressing journalists at a press conference held in Chatsworth, south of Durban on Monday afternoon.

Mbalula said areas mostly affected by political instability include Inchanga, Gamalakhe, Folweni, Umlazi and Lamontville.

“We condemn in the strongest term the use of violence as a way of settling differences between our people. Only dialogue can resolve differences, not violence or confrontation,” Mbalula said.

He said there are a number of interventions in place by both police and KZN government to try and resolve the tensions and stabilise the affected areas.

“There has been deployment of members from the Public Order Police, Tactical Response Team, the national intervention unit and visible policing,” he said.

Mbalula said despite these interventions, a councillor was killed in Ibisi last week.

On Tuesday last week, Mduduzi Shibase, 39 who was an ANC ward 14 councillor and an educator had just arrived at his residence at Gugwini in Ibisi, when he was shot by unknown armed men.

Task team

“From January to April this year, the police have conducted several operations in the affected areas which resulted in the recovery of over 1510 firearms including pistols, rifles, shotguns and homemade guns. A further 8500 rounds of ammunition and over 320 explosives were also seized during these operations,” he said.

An integrated Provincial Project Task Team comprising of the Hawks, Detectives, Crime Intelligence, LCRC and NPA, which was established to deal with all these cases is doing a sterling job, said Mbalula adding that the team was to be enhanced as of Monday.

“We will be deploying additional members to this task team from the National Detective Services and the Hawks, led by Brigadier Shabalala. 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,” he said.

He said the team has been mandated to immediately attend to, investigate and prosecute in all of these cases.

“They are to ensure those who are responsible for committing these crimes are arrested, bail is opposed and they are prosecuted as speedily as possible to ensure deterrence to the continuation of these crimes and to instill public confidence and stability,” added Mbalula.

Mbalula urged the community to assist police to curb political killings in the province.

“To overcome tensions and subsequent killings, the need for tolerance and community participation cannot be over emphasised. 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,” he said.

On the recent spate of violence against women that has gripped the country, Mbalula said “real men” should ensure that no women were subjected to abuse in their presence.

He asked the public to help with information in order for police to establish if there’s a scam or an operation targeting women. Mbalula said policemen who take bribes to protect criminals will be dealt with.

“They must be brought to book,” he said.

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  durban  |  crime

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