Traditional values can help stop political killings – Inkosi Chiliza

2017-07-18 18:20
Inkosi Pathisiswe Chiliza. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Inkosi Pathisiswe Chiliza. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban – If traditional values and leadership were better instilled in South Africa’s democracy, there would be less violence and fewer political killings, the Moerane Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

KwaZulu-Natal and the ANC needed to perform a cleansing ceremony because of factions developing in the party, provincial House of Traditional Leaders chairperson, Inkosi Pathisiswe Chiliza, told the commission.

He was giving evidence about the high number of political killings in the province since 2016’s local government elections.

Rival factions should approach Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, confess they had fought and make peace, he suggested.

“The king would make a ruling how this needs to be done. They [politicians] will go back to their structures and present informed statements saying they made peace. The whole province would come together asking God to bring us together.

“Amakhosi [traditional leaders] can play a vital role in uniting their people, regardless of political affiliation. When people come to us they leave their politics outside.”

Democracy is killing family units

Chiliza said South Africa’s modern democracy was killing family units and family values.

“We were traditionally taught by the community around us and our elders. They had a positive impact in our society. When the child grows up he must be in an environment where he knows killing is a crime. Not because the police are chasing him. He must know no matter what, it is wrong.”

Violence had become too prevalent and children were being exposed to it.

“We have children being born into violent situations. A child never used to be able to see a corpse. Now we see young people themselves killing. It starts in our schools and homes. We need to teach our young people.”

Power struggles were breeding hitmen.

“Hitmen do not come out of nowhere. They are built.”

After democracy, in hostels, rules were enforced and amakhosi would pay visits to residents to discuss values.

“People doing the wrong thing would be in trouble. The problem is that amakhosi believe power has been taken from them and given to politicians.”

Even at ward committee level, traditional leaders were merely observers, he said.

On Monday, independent researcher and human rights activist Vanessa Burger testified that Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi was a “reservoir of hitmen”. Many political killings in the province were carried out by hitmen who lived in the hostel.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willis Mchunu established the commission in October 2016, chaired by advocate Marumo Moerane, to investigate the high number of political killings in the province since 2011.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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