Family of ANC ward candidate fear for their lives after surviving shooting incident
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Killings and death threats, against ANC councillors and candidates, around election time is again rearing its ugly head. This time the family of an ANC ward 18 candidate in Site C, Khayelitsha, came under attack when gunmen opened fire on their home last night.
Vuyani Nongalo said he was woken up by the gunshots, which shattered several windows, while he was still asleep with his wife Siphokazi Nongalo, and two children.
Nongalo believed the shooting was politically motivated.
“I was told by the community that one of the women involved in politics said someone is going to die,” he said.
Siphokazi said they tried to call their neighbours, but could not reach them. She said the incident stunned and shocked the family.
“We now fear for our lives because we do not know what is going to happen to us tomorrow,” she said.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the police were investigating an attempted murder case, after a shooting incident on Monday, at about 1.15am.
Van Wyk said, upon further inspection by the complainant, he noticed that the plasma TV in his lounge was shot at and damaged, the outside wall of his house had gunshot holes. However, no one sustained any injuries during the incident.
When the news of the shooting surfaced, community members quickly filled the area outside Nongalo’s home.
One of the community members, Babalwa Maqokolo said the community also feared that the incident could involve them, because Nongalo was elected by the community.
Site C ward councillor Ntomboxolo Kopman, who is also an electoral candidate, said she heard of the shooting, but disputed that it could have been politically motivated.
“We did not have a fight with Nongalo. He knew that he was candidate number two. We did not even have a dispute or disagreement,” said Kopman.
However, she said Nongalo was recently called by the regional leadership, to address his dissatisfaction with the party.
Michael Hendrickse, provincial electoral officer said they had confirmed the shooting through the police, however, it was not reported to their office.
“We cannot, at this stage, confirm whether it is related to anything to do with elections at all,” said Hendrickse.
He urged parties and stakeholders to adhere to the elements of the code of conduct, and asked anybody with a complaint to report to the IEC.
In August, ANC Women's League member Phumeza Nomzazi, who was also a ward 98 candidate, was killed in a hail of bullets, inside her Khayelitsha home.
Before that, ANC councillor Nokuthula Bolitye was shot dead outside her home in Crossroads, in July.
Bolitye's killing came a month after Stellenbosch deputy mayor Nyaniso Jindela, his wife Unathi and Kayamandi taxi owner Gladstone Relegu were arrested in connection with the killing of former Stellenbosch deputy mayor Cameron Mcako.
SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) provincial chairperson Bongikhaya Qhama condemned all forms of intimidation and killing of people “whether they were politically motivated or otherwise”.
“We have full confidence in our justice system and police officials, and their capacity to investigate such acts,” said Qhama.
He urged the communities to work and collaborate with the police to expose all criminality in their areas.
Criminologist at the University of Stellenbosch (SU) political science department Guy Lamb said political killings pointed to a worrying dynamic, where violence was being used to resolve conflicts within parties, and between particular key individuals in a party.
Amanda Gouws, political science professor at the SU, said: “We should be worried about political killings, period. Competitive democratic elections can be seriously marred by killings, because the right candidates may withdraw if they fear for their lives.”
Gouws said that means those who did the killings held the whole country to ransom. She said political parties, that could not reign in the problem among their members, were themselves complicit in those killings. No election could be called free and fair, when political killings become embedded in the processes.
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