Political murders 'about the money'

2012-07-29 14:34

Johannesburg - Political killings in South Africa are not about political dominance but about getting to the trough first.

"Some of these guys literally come out of severe poverty and if they get kicked out they will be back there," said deputy CEO of the SA Institute of Race Relations Frans Cronje.

"The stakes are high... it's about money."

The number of politicians murdered the past five years has escalated, especially between 2010 and 2012.

KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga seem to be the worst affected - with 41 and five killed respectively.

Around the country, at least 46 officials from various political parties have been gunned down around the country.

An idea

Cronje said: "Yes South Africa is a democracy... but I can't think of another country that has this problem.

"We [the institute] have been hard pressed to find a single person killed over an idea. It all depends on tenders and corruption."

He said the issue had been swept under the carpet for far too long and was something that would become very controversial in the next five years.

Historically, KwaZulu-Natal has been a test-bed since the late 80s, and to this day it is still seen as a political killing ground.

ANC KwaZulu-Natal secretary Sihle Zikalala said the party had quite a few officials killed in the last two years, but was difficult to pinpoint motives.

"We have called for serious interventions to crack all these cases. It's destabilising the party."

Full investigation

Zikalala said the ANC did not want to accuse another political party, especially not before a full investigation was conducted.

IFP MP Albert Mncwango said political tension in KwaZulu-Natal was because of the IFP breakaway group the National Freedom Party.

Mncwango said quite a number of councillors in his party had been killed the past five years.

"A rough figure, which is subject to verification, is around 10. We believe it was always politically motivated," he said.

"They took place especially around the Natal Midlands and these murders escalated when there were internal ructions which gave rise to the NFP."

Former IFP chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and her backers launched the new opposition to the IFP in January 2011.


The NFP has said 22 of its members have been murdered since its launch. Many of these murders had been blamed on the IFP.

Mncwango said this was unfortunate.

"In all their murders, that they say are politically motivated, I can't think of any IFP member who has been apprehended."

NFP general secretary Nhlanhla Khubisa said the party had never blamed other political parties for the spate of murders.

"We say it's politically motivated because it started immediately when the party was formed and of course in some cases there was some kind of political intolerance."

Khubisa did however say that it was not NFP members killing other NFP members.

"We a threat to somebody, somewhere."

Political intolerance

So is political intolerance in South Africa too high?

According to Zikalala it is.

"It is a problem and the problem of political assassinations is a serious one," he said.

Mncwango said there was a new brand of political intolerance in the country.

It was no longer about parties defending their political strongholds.

"We have a new kind of political intolerance which has to do with tenderpreneurship," he said.

"This is becoming a huge influence in politics and a source of internal ructions in parties."

Because the IFP was not running government it did not hand out tenders and so it had minimal infighting, said Mncwango.

Zikalala said the problem surrounding tenders could not be ruled out but that would form part of the ANC's investigation into the reason for political murders.

Change of mind set

Khubisa said there needed to be a change of mind set amongst members of political parties across the political landscape.

"At some point some kind of political education is needed across all parties," he said.

Five politicians have also been murdered in Mpumalanga since 2007.

There have been allegations of a hit list circulating in the province which had the names of provincial politicians on it.

The list apparently targeted people who stood in the way of access to 2010 Soccer World Cup tenders.

It was said to be compiled, funded and executed by ANC members.

Hit list

Two people, Jimmy Mohlala and Sammy Mpatlanyane, whose names were on the alleged hit list, had been murdered in 2009 and 2010.

Cronje concluded that ANC policy was killing off parts of the party.

"Look at the ANC... money has brought it to where it is."

Material gain, said Cronje, went hand in hand with politics.

This was especially true in a country such as South Africa where the previously poor were now in power.

"The fight for tenders is desperate," Cronje said.

  • tobydt - 2012-07-29 14:41

    Cronje concluded that ANC policy was killing off parts of the party. "Look at the ANC... money has brought it to where it is." ANC is going down. Lithuli house is busy burning. Good reason why the ANC needs to die a slow death.

      tc.convulvulous - 2012-07-29 15:39

      Hey, do not give the politicians special treatment by establishing a police task force to investigate political murders. Sure it is just normal crime! Like the farm murders. Just normal crime, not justifying any exceptional investigation. Clowns!

      sharon.a.marks.9 - 2012-07-29 16:13

      this is great news,leave them,let them kill each other off they will be doing us a favour.they all suffer from delusions of grandure and are too stupid to see that they are worth nothing

  • Henk - 2012-07-29 14:45

    The resemblance to the mafia is unreal. And they are governing this country. La xhosa nostra.....

  • nicholas.graan - 2012-07-29 14:47

    Can you imagine what would happen if the DA had to win a general election? They would have to drag this current crop away from the trough kicking and screaming would not happen without a fight. It seems this is what "the struggle" was actually about, and very little to do with the welfare of South Africa or its people.

      ianon.ym - 2012-07-29 14:51

      Agree ...

      Henk - 2012-07-29 14:53

      the idea to work for something will be to hard to swallow....

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-07-29 15:33

      Remember when Bob lost the last election? He point-blank refused to go, and is still sitting at the top of the tree. Power is a drug...

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-07-29 15:00

    probably too much to hope for that the anc would kill itself of completely.

  • DawieBlue - 2012-07-29 15:11

    Anyone else see the similarity in behaviour between the ANC and the Mafia? The biggest criminal organisation in SA is the ruling party, a very scary prospect.

  • don.wannakno - 2012-07-29 15:12

    Let them wipe each other off the face of the earth. Who needs politicians anyways?

  • braamc - 2012-07-29 15:15

    Really don't miss a single corrupt official

  • michael.i.wright - 2012-07-29 15:17

    Must have really burned the midnight oil trying to figure this one out. I want to do something where I can announce dramatic findings that even a halfwit ought to have known ten years before.

  • busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-07-29 15:17

    You are sick, was killing of JF Kennedy about money even in so called developed countries they kill each other look at Russia

      el.torro.509 - 2012-07-29 15:23

      Russia is a poor example or maybe a good one because they are hugely corrupt and heavily involved in organised crime.\r\n\r\nJfK erm that's one in the past 40 years we've had how many in 18?

      goyougoodthing - 2012-07-29 16:01

      Yes, JFK was about money, it was about the abolition of the Federal reserve...

  • charl.deswardt - 2012-07-29 15:33

    concerned about 46 people, but hundreds die each year in car accidents and taxis. i think that is of greater concern.

  • les.eberhardt - 2012-07-29 15:34

    I wonder what the people and politicians from the countries that threatend sanctions against S.A to unban the ANC, are thinking now? When they see the shambles that it caused,and making S.A (ANC) the laughing stock of the world. I hope they feel just a twinge of guilt for causing such chaos!!

      thebe.tau - 2012-07-29 16:53

      Foreign countries were just interested in freeing black people, it had nothing to do with political favours for ANC, get this one right.

  • Luyanda - 2012-07-29 15:37

    SPOT ON! Money/Status/Materialism is the new GOD in South Africa. The formerly Oppressed are the new Oppressors. The Real GOD is watching,Fortunately.

  • mthobisi.mkhize.735 - 2012-07-29 16:07

    it funny how Cronje say that the previously poor are in power forgeting that a countless of the previously poor are still presently poor in some ways i feel tht he left ths out on puporse. yes we condemn political killings but we hav to be honest in constructing solutions for example if economy is to be transformed to accomodate more ppl thn political violenc wont be as high sinc not all ppl will be looking at the same source for prosperity blacks prosper because of tenders mainly ths is due to the economic system tht is white both in nature and form tht y we kill each othe ths much we wanna power tht is equal to money but i fear the minutes black ppl realise tht killing each other is not a solution thy will look for someone els to vent their anger in sinc ths killing culture is slowly becumuing a norm. so those who are not being killed today are those tht will be tomoro cos ppl will realise the power of doing tht and regret having killed their brothers bcos even aftr tht the economy remained in the hands of tthe white. so thos who are laughing at blacks killing each other must laugh no longer for i fear for their safety onc thes killers becum concious of their situation and begin on a jopurney to search for true answers.

      maylani.bezuidenhout - 2012-07-30 09:41

      Its a mad scramble to the top of the pile. Even in the townships everyone knows its who you know, who you are connected to who ensures that you get that rdp house or small tender or even the 'free' formula milk at the clinic. Is it any surprise that people are willing to kill for it?

  • joseph.tettey.9 - 2012-07-29 16:28

    Political Assasination is about Tenders and Corruption.It is about the culture of looting that we are seeing in the country.The Country does not need Political Education but a total overhaul of the Educational System.Our Nation has lost the desire to be educated because we see corruption and criminal activities as the sure way of becoming 'RICH.'Infact stealing from the system is so open and arrogantly displayed without fear.Dare make noise and you are dead because the criminal Justice system is not working.The Proportional Representation is moving the Country towards anarchaic.It is not the political Parties but the Political System.The same arrongance would show if we replace the present ruling party with another.This clearly shows why we should quickly reform the political System.We need a new CODESA before we wrongly institutionalised the Mafia form of Government in the country.

      tony.vanniekerk.35 - 2012-07-29 18:07

      If the leaders are corrupt, changing the political system won't help. That is like taking drugs away from an addict. The addict will find something else to be addicted to. You need to take the corrupt leaders out of the system, then fix the system with good leaders.

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-07-29 16:34

    political murder,robberies,corruption,theft 'about money' and rape is about wat?

      tony.vanniekerk.35 - 2012-07-29 18:10

      They murder for personal gain, ie money. They rape for personal gain, ie exercising their "power" to feel good about themselves.

  • Vince.York - 2012-07-29 19:57

    SA political GREED is unrivaled worldwide, except where the drug cartels and prostitutes have their pimps and mafia.

  • pws69 - 2012-07-30 08:50

    This gives us an inkling of how massively lucrative tender fraud is, and how widespread and endemic the corruption is.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-07-30 17:08

    Of course its all over money, after all the saying going money is the root of all evil. Money can give you power and that is exactly what we are experiencing today. The elite have their own justice system whilist the poor man get another justice system. The elite always manage to escape money corrupts. Its has got so bad it is now turning to dog eat dog and its going to get worse.

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