S. African police ready to stem spate of political killings

S. African police ready to stem spate of political killings

Friday, August 3, 2018 11:16 pm

File: South African Police officers

South African police have proactively dealt a decisive blow to criminality in relation to political killings, Police Minister, Bheki Cele, said on Friday.

Cele said this in his latest update on the progress of investigations into political killings.

Through the implementation of stabilisation interventions across the country, police have successfully reined in a new spate of political killings, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Cele said.

A series of political killings have rocked South Africa since the beginning of this year. In KwaZulu-Natal Province alone, several politicians have been killed recently.

In May, S’fiso Ngcobo, Chairperson of the Shack Dwellers’ Movement in Mariannhill, West of Durban, Msawenkosi Mchunu, an African National Congress (ANC) leader in Moses Mabhida Region, and Sbuyiselo Dlamini, leader of the Inkata Freedom Party (IFP) in Ulundi were shot dead in seperate incidents.

Their killings were preceded by the assassination of Sifiso Cele, an ANC branch treasurer in KwaZulu-Natal’s Ray Nkonyeni Municipality.

The killings prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint an inter-ministerial committee to investigate.

In June, Cele announced the implementation of stabilisation interventions.

“As a way of progress, we have taken a decision to change the members of the task team that was responsible for the investigations into the political killings,” Cele said.

The new project team has 118 new members plus eight members from the previous task team who have been retained, he said.

This team has now adopted a project-driven approach meaning that they will have dedicated human and physical resources, according to Cele.

The human resources include seasoned and experienced detectives from various provinces including KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces, said Cele.

“We are satisfied with the work that this team has been doing thus far,” he said.

Through the stabilisation interventions, 512 people have been arrested for illegal possession of arms and/or ammunition while 706 illegal guns, including semi-automatic rifles, high calibre rifles and shotguns, have been recovered, and a total of 6,045 rounds of ammunition were taken away from the streets, Cele said.

South Africa will hold its general elections in 2019.

Rivalry among factions of political parties often lead to violence characterised by political killings.


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