ANC in KwaZulu-Natal concerned about political killings, urges communities to 'remain vigilant'

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President Cyril Ramaphosa campaigns in the lead-up to November's elections.
President Cyril Ramaphosa campaigns in the lead-up to November's elections.
Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw
  • The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal expressed concern at the spate of politically-motivated murders.
  • It called on political leaders and communities to work together to bring the perpetrators to book.
  • Thulani Shangase became the latest victim when he was gunned down on Sunday evening.

ANC bosses in KwaZulu-Natal are alarmed at the "continuous mysterious" murders of ward councillor candidates, ahead of the municipal elections.

The latest incidents claimed the lives of EFF Msunduzi councillor candidate Thulani Shangase, who was gunned down in Caluza on Sunday evening, and ANC eThekwini councillor candidate Siyabonga Mkhize, who was shot dead in Cato Crest on Friday.

KwaZulu-Natal is known for its political killings.

READ | Municipal Elections 2021: KZN’s deadly politics likely to get bloodier

The situation appears to be a repeat of the 2016 municipal elections, when several people were murdered in election-related political violence.

In a statement on Tuesday, ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the killings were concerning, but some political parties' tendency to jump to conclusions was another worry.

Thulani Shangase.
Thulani Shangase.

"We believe that this is irresponsible and reckless, as it not only undermines the rule of law, but also carries the potential of falsely accusing people and stirring up emotions, to the point of sparking acts of retribution. As a province with a painful history of political violence, we cannot afford to be dragged back to the days when people were massacred for daring to hold a particular political view.

READ | Elections 2021: Will KwaZulu-Natal see more political killings in the coming months?

"In many cases, even people who were apolitical would first be branded members of particular political parties, with that being used to justify their murder," Ntombela said.

He called on political leaders to exercise restraint before making public statements.

Siyabonga Mkhize was killed during a door-to-door campaign in KZN.

"And allow law enforcement agencies to do their work and arrest perpetrators, without fear or favour. We are agitating for the arrest of the people involved in drive-by shootings that claimed the lives of three ANC activists in Inanda on 12 September 2021, those involved in the murder of ANC candidate councillor Siyabonga Mkhize in Cato Crest last Friday, as well as those responsible for the gunning down of EFF councillor candidate Thulani Shangase in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday," he said.

READ ALSO | Alleged political killings: ANC ropes in security cluster as it admits it's a problem - Duarte

The ANC urged communities to work closely with law enforcement agencies and to share information that would lead to the arrest of the killers.

"We also urge all our people to remain vigilant against thugs who want to set our province back to the terrible times before our democratic dispensation. The ANC is committed to working with all political parties, through the multi-party committee involving leaders of various parties, to ensure that our province attains lasting peace and is free from political murders.

"Like all other provinces in the country, we want citizens to be able to elect their councillors in a space that is free from intimidation, violence and murder," he said.

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