Greed, competition among reasons for KZN political killings, commission hears

2017-08-18 18:36
The Moerane Commission. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

The Moerane Commission. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban - Lack of equal distribution of resources, greed, and competition among Africans are some of the underlying causes that lead to political killings in KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Sihawukele Ngubane said on Friday.

Ngubane, who is the head of African languages at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, was testifying before the Moerane Commission, which was tasked by Premier Willies Mchunu to investigate underlying causes leading to the political killings.

"The economic development should benefit everyone who lives in the province," said Ngubane.

The equal distribution of economy is of core value, he said.

Also read: SAPS members getting away with murder in KZN - commission hears

He told the commission that "most of these killings are driven by poverty, because people are struggling to survive," he said.

He called on government to "skill people in order to put food on the table".

"Self-interest and competitive drive for power and resources could be curbed by ourselves," he said.

If we can all come together and take full responsibility for the killings we can reduce these killings, Ngubane suggested.

"Here we are, all Ngunis, we can work together to solve this problem," he said.

'Revisit indigenous routes'

When asked about the tensions between Zulus and Xhosas in the province, Ngubane blamed apartheid.

"The leaders of apartheid divided these groups. As a democratic country, we need to revisit the damages caused by apartheid," he said.

Ngubane said the spirit of Ubuntu and African renaissance could be used to end political violence in KZN.

"We need to revisit indigenous routes to end violence in KZN. Let us deal with our problems from an African point of view. The notion of Ubuntu can be used to provide a system to forgive and to receive forgiveness," he said.

He said some rituals have to be performed to cleanse the province of the blood that has been spilled and to curb re-occurrence of political killings. 

He suggested that Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, "as a custodian of culture in the country", should lead the rituals.

"The King and traditional leadership in the country should be standard bearers of those rituals," he said.

He accused government of "underutilising traditional leaders" when dealing with issues affecting communities.

"They are not integrated into local government. They must be part of decision making in municipalities. Politicians, councillors and izinduna should be working together," he said.

He said "government must create mechanisms that would make sure that they sit together, share and compare notes".

Also read: Glebelands killings: Why there are no convictions

Ngubane called for the formalisation of institutions that will bridge the gap between tradition and politics.

"We have forgotten our religious and family values. Let's co-operate with traditional structures to fight this scourge of political killings," he said.

He also called for inter and intra party reconciliation.

"We must be prepared to admit guilt and seek for forgiveness," he said.

Commission chair Advocate Marumo Moerane adjourned the hearing to Monday.

Read more on:    durban  |  political killings  |  culture  |  crime

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