Report on a matter of public importance: Political related killings presented to the KwaZulu-Natal legislature by Mr Willies Mchunu, MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison
2 Aug 2012
Madam Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to report on a matter of public importance, namely, political related killings in KwaZulu-Natal in terms of Rule 100 of the Standing Rules of the Legislature.
The Province of KwaZulu-Natal used to be known as a violence ridden province. We were able to turn the tide and became a normal province like all others. Recently, we are receiving disturbing reports which seem to challenge our maturing democracy. In the latter part of 2011 and again in 2012, we are increasingly experiencing the politically related killings. In an attempt not to reverse the gains made in attaining political stability in this province, we deemed it prudent that the matter be elevated to the public domain. This is furthermore an attempt to solicit views on curbing this scourge.
The police report indicate that there is political instability in the areas of Margate, Vryheid, Dundee, KwaMashu, Estcourt, Greytown, KwaDukuza, Umlazi T-section, Jacobs and SJ Smith hostels. This owes largely to power struggles between different political parties, as well as internal leadership struggles.
Madam Speaker, I have taken liberty to highlight some of the incidents reported to the police for the benefit of the honourable members so as to substantiate the basis of elevating the matter to this House.
Brighton Beach Cluster
There were two murders of African National Congress (ANC) members which occurred at Jacobs Hostel on 4 May 2012. The deceased were identified as Sakhephi Mthembu and Mandla Shinga. It is alleged that the ANC had called for the review of the committee that issued hostel rooms in the new block. The then current committee was believed to be IFP dominated and the allocation was therefore believed to be biased. A suspect was arrested and the case has been remanded to 20 August 2012 at Durban Magistrate court.
On 10 August 2011 the body of Mr Michael Mfaniseni Mtshali, National Freedom Party’s (NFP's) KwaMashu Hostel branch treasurer was found with multiple gunshot wounds at KwaMashu Mens Hostel. The motive for the killing is unknown however political tensions are high at KwaMashu Mens Hostel between the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and NFP since the formation of the NFP. Investigation in progress with leads is being followed.
On 11 July 2011, the Ethekwini ANC Regional Secretary Mr S'bu Sibiya was fatally shot by unknown suspects whilst entering his house at Congo area. A Mr Zulu was arrested and charged for murder and Mr Zamani Sikhakhane who was also sought after the murder was shot and killed during a police action at Welbedacht East on 6 September 2011. The case is set for trial in High court from 19 November 2012 to 23 November 2012.
On 01 July 2012 an NFP councillor Mr Shelembe of ward 10 eMsinga and a passenger in his vehicle Ms Z Zuma were fatally shot after Mr Shelembe's vehicle was ambushed at KwaKopi area by unknown suspects. It is alleged that they were returning from an NFP meeting in Pomeroy. The suspects appeared in court for a bail hearing on 25 July 2012.
a) On 17 May 2010, Sthembele Dali (ANC) was shot dead at Glebelands hostel. New leads are being followed.
b) On 15 January 2010 Daluvuyo Hadebe, ANC supporter was fatally shot whilst inside the motor vehicle. The case was withdrawn due to the fact that the eye witness passed on.
c) On 1 March 2011, Councillor Mshibe (ANC) of ward 80 UMlazi was shot dead as he was about to enter his house at Yellow wood Park. The matter is set down for trial in Durban High Court from 3 September 2012 to 11 September 2012.
d) On 25 August 2011, Mr B Ngcobo, ANC representative for the area was shot dead on his way from the weekly ANC meeting eMfume. The case is remanded to 31 December 2012.
e) Induna Makhanya was murdered at his home eMbumbulu on 9 October 2011 and suspects were apprehended. On 6 November 2011, the department hosted a peace initiative meeting in the area to allay the fears and encourage the community to work closely with the police.
f) Mthunzi Gwala was murdered at T- Section (17 Hostel) on 14 July 2012 for allegedly wearing an NFP T-shirt and boasting that he would not leave his party. The case is being investigated by the Umlazi SAPS.
g) Thamsanqa Richman Mnyango who is believed to belong to the NFP was also murdered at T- Section Umlazi (17 Hostel) on 21st July 2012. His case is under investigation.
h) Induna Khende Magubane (IFP) was murdered in his room, at T-section (17 Hostel) on 4 November 2011. The case is remanded to 1 August 2012 at UMlazi court.
An IFP member, Simon Dingindawo Shange, was killed by a convicted murderer, Mr J Cele, who received a life sentence. The other case was that of Godfrey Mgobhozi, who was murdered in May 2011. The trial is set down for 21 November 2012.
Mr Wandile Mkhize, an ANC member from Hibiscus Coast, was killed on 30 June 2012, Mr Nhalakanipho Shabane, also an ANC member, was also critically injured and has since passed away. Police investigations are underway.
a) Induna Titus Mthembu (NFP), of Eastmine Hlobane was fatally shot on 24 August 2011. The matter was finalized with 1 suspect convicted to life sentence.
b) Induna Mpipiza Ncube (NFP) of Cibilili area KwaMathema was murdered on 9 July 2012. The matter was remanded.
c) Councillor Nhlebela (NFP) of Nquthu Local Municipality was killed on 6 July 2012, whilst travelling with his two children near Sunshine Farm. There has been no arrest made in this matter and police investigations are continuing.
a) Mr Mthembeni Majola (IFP) was shot at and left paralysed in July 2010. One suspect was arrested. The case was remanded to 29 to 30 October 2012 at Estcourt regional court.
b) Former IFP Councillor Duma then NFP was murdered on 16 February 2011. Four suspects were arrested. The case was remanded to 17 August 2012.
c) The case of attempted murder of Thembinkosi Makhathini (IFP) took place in March 2011, a suspect, Mr Jay Magubane (ANC), was apprehended. In another attempted murder case of Mbopha Makhathini (IFP), which occurred in October 2011, the same suspect was questioned by police.
d) In the murder case of S'fiso Ndebele / Mdakane (ANC), there are two suspects who cannot be identified.
e) In the murder case of Bongani Ntshalintshali (NFP) was allegedly killed by IFP members at Wembezi, Lokslooi. A certain Mr Majola has been arrested.
f) Miss Sthembile Mpembe was shot at eNkwezela. It has been claimed by ANC members that the deceased was one of their strong supporters and her killing was politically motivated. The matter is under police investigation.
g) Mr Mandla Xaba was shot in D Section at Wembezi on his way home from work. The motive of the killing is unknown at this stage. According to the information presented by one of the leaders of ANC of the Estcourt Branch, the killing was also politically motivated.
h) Mr Vukani Zuma (ANC) supporter was fatally shot by an unknown suspect at D Section, Wembezi on 8 December 2011. Investigation is in progress.
i) Jabulani Ngubane (IFP) was fatally shot by unknown suspects in Esigodlweni/ Rensbergdrift area on 3 January 2012. Investigation is in progress and leads are being followed.
a) On 4 October 2010, Mr Khuzwayo (ANC) was fatally shot at eShowe. The eye witness alleges he was shot at by nine un-identified suspects. Two suspects were arrested. The case is set for trial on 3 to 14 December 2012
b) On March 2010 Councillor Sibongiseni shange (IFP) was murdered. Two suspects were arrested. One was acquitted and one was sentenced to life imprisonment.
c) In February 2009, Councillor Mduduzi Maphumulo (IFP) from Gingindlovu was murdered. Four suspects were arrested. The Matter is set for trial on 20 August 2012 to 31 August 2012
a) In December 2008, Councillor Magutshwa (ANC) was murdered. Four accused were found guilty and sentenced on 16 July 2012
a) On 29 April 2011, Mr Dube (NFP), candidate elect, was fatally shot at, at his residence. The case is under investigation.
Madame Speaker, in as much as the police are investigating the above mentioned cases and effecting arrests working collaboratively with all the partners in the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, we are on the other hand intervening to inculcate a culture of political tolerance. The Provincial Multi-Party Political Oversight Committee on Interventions which was established in preparation for the elections of 18 May 2011 is playing its part on these interventions. This committee developed strategies to collectively address the scourge of violence and political intolerance prior, during and post the elections.
The approach of the Multi-party Political Committee is to alert members of parties of the importance of peaceful negotiations where arguments or disagreements surface, particularly those of a political nature. Through this mechanism, the leadership of the parties are able to intervene to stabilise conflict situations. Such interventions are supported by the implementation of security plans for affected areas. During this process it is of critical importance that party leadership condemn any violence and commit to a process to re-establish peace and tolerance among the members of their parties.
I want to assure this house that the Multi-Party Political Oversight Committee is doing everything possible to undertake interventions throughout the province to promote peace and stability. To this end, the committee took a decision to promote intra-political party peace in an attempt to deal with intra-political party violence. We encourage dialogue within political parties themselves so as to avert conflict amongst themselves. We also encourage political party leadership to play a critical role in driving intra-political party conflict resolution mechanism and dialogue in the interest of peace and stability for our province and our country.
Madam Speaker, we have also interacted with the Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Mthethwa and requested him to reconsider the formation of National Intervention Task Team to address these killings. In as much as arrests have been effected, we are however worried that other cases have been withdrawn, some remain unsolved. The wave of violence of intra- party killings proves to be the most difficult one. We will welcome any kind of intervention that will be considered by the Minister of police. We do have confidence to the police and Provincial Commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal but however, we feel that national will bring more resources and necessary expertise to assist our provincial police.
In looking at the cases presented South African Police Services, 17 arrests have been effected thus far with regards to political related killings. This is an indication that police in KwaZulu-Natal are doing something towards resolving these cases. Admittedly, we want a situation where all these cases are resolved. To this end, we call upon communities and everyone else with information to come forward with the leads that will assist the investigation processes.
The murder cases reported above remain a sore point for us in Government as it flies in the face of unity and nation building. Our vision for KwaZulu-Natal is to have a matured electorate that will freely exercise their freedom of association as enshrined in the Constitution. We call upon all political parties to give space to police to do their investigations properly on these matters. We call upon political parties to educate their constituencies on political tolerance and democracy. We remain convinced that this is possible. We urge political parties to report criminals within their parties so that they do not hide behind political parties.
Madam Speaker, we are concerned that if the trend of political killings continues and we do not arrest it, obviously KwaZulu-Natal will slide back its mid-80s of political violence in different form. I hope it won't. As we are launching this issue today, we want to elevate it to the public domain so as to harness a collective approach in resolving this scourge.
As I conclude Honourable Members, I wish to call upon all political parties to educate their members and all the people of this province to observe the following 13 principles of political freedom, democracy and community safety:
1. Allow members of other political parties to exercise their political rights freely
2. Exercise their political rights responsibly and in accordance with the law
3. Respect the secret nature of any person's vote in any election including elections within parties themselves
4. Accept the outcome of any free, fair and peaceful political process
5. Refrain from any activity which could negatively impact on the freeness and fairness of any election
6. Refrain from destroying any other party's property and campaign material
7. Respect free political campaigning within the confines of the law
8. Report any criminal activity to the South African Police Service and the Government instead of reacting in kind to any such criminal act
9. Cooperate with the South African Police Service and the Government in any response to any such violation or criminal act
10. Respect and protect life and the security of another person
11. Communicate with each other in a peaceful and tolerant manner
12. Participate in the fight against crime and
13. Participate in any programmes against political conflict and to promote political tolerance and peaceful coexistence; including within parties themselves.
I thank you!
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety and Liaison
2 Aug 2012
[ Top ]