PODCAST | Too Many Enemies: Episode 5 - Southern Africa's assassinations crisis

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Too Many Enemies.
Too Many Enemies.
Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized

Too Many Enemies, a new podcast series, explores the assassination of a billionaire. Brought to you by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, in partnership with News24, and produced by Volume.


This week, in the penultimate episode of Too Many Enemies, producer Paul McNally shifts his focus from the murder of billionaire Wandile Bozwana, to investigate Southern Africa's assassinations crisis and how terrifyingly commonplace hits have become in the region. 

McNally goes back 20 years to one of the most infamous assassinations: the killing of acclaimed Mozambican journalist and editor Carlos Cardoso. Cardoso, who was investigating a $14-million fraud linked to the privatisation of Mozambique's largest bank, was shot dead in central Maputo in November 2000. The murder sparked global outrage. 

PODCAST | The killing of businessman Wandile Bozwana - listen to all episodes

Since then, killings and attempted killings of judges, political opponents and journalists, among others, have become disturbingly frequent. And there are alarming parallels between assassinations in South Africa and Mozambique. 

Between 2014 and 2018, according to Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime analyst Simone Haysom, there were at least 21 assassinations or attempted assassinations in Mozambique. In South Africa, nearly 2 000 assassinations have been recorded over the past 20 years, which is likely an undercount.

Haysom says hits here are divided into two groups - those associated with military conflict and more symbolic assassinations, killings that target civil society figures such as lawyers, judges and journalists.

Creating fear

The latter, she says, creates fear among those speaking out against societal ills and sends them a strong message to keep quiet.

Professor Adriano Nuvunga, director of Mozambique's Centre for Democracy and Development, tells McNally that defenders who fight for democracy have become increasingly vulnerable.

He also points out that convictions are often only limited to triggermen and not those who ordered the hits - drawing another alarming parallel between Mozambique and South Africa.

Next week in the final episode of Too Many Enemies, we go to an infamous boxing match in Las Vegas in 2015 to look for certain suspicious characters and investigate the final piece in the puzzle of the assassination of Wandile Bozwana.

It involves a R1 million pay-off, a government minister and the bank account of a famous DJ. Don't miss it.

Too Many Enemies is a story involving top politicians, taxi bosses and assassins. This six-part series looks at what the assassination of Wandile Bozwana means for the state of politics, crime and justice in South Africa today.


An advertisement used in this episode is courtesy of SuperSport. It was originally posted on YouTube on 24 April 2015.

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