Yet another induna was killed in the Hlabisa area, in uMkhanyakude District, on Sunday evening, bringing the number of izinduna killed in KwaZulu-Natal to 22 since January last year.
Induna Prince Hlabisa was reportedly relaxing in his home when the gunmen attacked.
Induna Phumlani Dlamini of Ubumbano Lwezinduna said: “He heard the knock on his door, on opening the door he was greeted by a gunshot.”
Dlamini said what was even more concerning was that Hlabisa’s death came shortly after Ubumbano’s recent march to the Premier Sihle Zikalala where they were asking for his intervention in the killing of izinduna “in which the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has been faceless for quite some time despite numerous outcries from izinduna.”
The battle for the positions of izinduna — which Dlamini likened to political violence — is believed to have been fuelled by Cogta’s decision last year to increase their stipend from R1 300 to R10 000.
“We don’t just get reports of induna being killed but we’ve also had the emergence of cases of people trying to forcefully remove izinduna from their positions, something that was unheard of before.”
He said Hlabisa was amongst the izinduna that had recently reported to Ubumbano that someone was trying to oust them from their position. He said this had already been reported to Cogta for its intervention as there were also allegations of collusion between amakhosi and the department’s officials in the irregular appointment of some of izinduna.
Dlamini said the culprits were even mobilising communities against izinduna to try and force them to step down and “if you don’t vacate the position you are likely to get killed because these people want the so-called power that comes with being induna.”
He said the auctioning of the positions of izinduna to highest bidders and the killing of traditional leaders must be curbed “and if this does not come to an end, we will retaliate with a same attitude.”
Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka condemned the murder of Hlabisa and called for law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned.
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