DURBAN - MORE than 27 KwaZulu-Natal traditional leaders have been murdered and several others have escaped assassination attempts since 2019.
According to the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka, there was no evidence to suggest the motive for these murders.
The IFP had previously called for a task team to be the established to investigate the killings of izinduna in the province after yet another murder, of induna Prince Hlabisa of Matshamnyama traditional council in the uMkhanyakude District.
The IFP said it believed those behind the killings were possibly after the salaries that were paid once a person became an induna.
IFP spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison Blessed Gwala said the long overdue initiative would serve as a breakthrough in halting the killing of traditional leaders.
“There has been wide speculation that there is an underworld move to destabilise and dismantle the traditional leadership structure in the province. It is not normal that so many traditional leaders have been murdered in two years. The imbizo could not have come at a better time where we all are focused on the coronation of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini. It will also render our king a sign of relief as it would be unfair for him to inherit a structure characterised by instability.”
The kidnapping in April of the regent chief of the Qinisela Manyuswa traditional council, Makhosande Ngcobo,was one of the incidents that sparked the department’s concern about the attacks on leaders.
Ngcobo was taken against his will from his home in KwaNyuswa in the presence of his wife and children. His male family members were tied up and their cellphones taken by the kidnappers, who posed as police officers.
More than a month after the attack, his family on Monday said they had not given up the search for him.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the case was still under investigation.
Hlomuka announced during his budget vote that he would be calling an imbizo with traditional leaders soon to discuss this issue.
He said an imbizo comprising amakhosi, izinduna and law enforcement agencies would be held.
In January, Inkosi Xulu, 26 , from Emasangweni village in the Melmoth area, was kidnapped from his home and set alight.
Three brothers, Mankomane Biyela, 35, Njabulo Biyela, 34, and Phiwayinkosi Biyela, 37, were arrested and charged with Xulu’s murder.
Izinduna Bonginkosi Dlomo, 43, an induna under the Nxamalala subclan, was gunned down at his home in Mphophomeni near Howick, while Bongumusa Mdluli, 48, was shot dead in KwaMnyandu near Cato Ridge.
They were allegedly in contention for traditional leadership positions in January. It is alleged that Mdluli had been receiving death threats days before he was murdered.
Another Cato Ridge induna, Bylaw Ngubane, also a member of the KwaMnyandu traditional council, was shot dead at his home in February.
His murder happened just two weeks after he was appointed to the position to replace Mdluli following Mdluli’s murder.
In March, Inkosi Manqoba Mkhize was murdered outside his home in eMpophomeni, an area which falls under the uMgungundlovu District Municipality.
An induna known as Dhlomo, who was with Mkhize during the shooting, was also shot dead.