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ANC, DA and IFP trade blows over killings

Premier Sihle Zikalala has said in his SOPA the killing of councillors is an attack on democracy and that establishment of the new community safety intervention unit under the department of community safety and liaison will subvert the issue. Picture: Supplied

Premier Sihle Zikalala has said in his SOPA the killing of councillors is an attack on democracy and that establishment of the new community safety intervention unit under the department of community safety and liaison will subvert the issue. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 17, 2022

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DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal government slammed parties in the province for what it called the trivialisation of political killings.

Questions over the government’s lack of implementation of the Moerane Commission’s report investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal emerged after the attempts on the lives of ANC eThekwini 101 councillor Mzi Ngiba and Newcastle deputy mayor Musa Thwala.

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Provincial government spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said that political parties, and specifically the DA, were using the incidents for cheap political point-scoring.

“We are inundated with enquiries following the latest assassination attempts on some councillors in eThekwini and Newcastle. These incidents are being acted on by law enforcement agencies.

“What is deeply concerning is the trivialisation of such serious matters by the DA for cheap political point-scoring.

“Every time such incidents happen the DA script is always the same – blame it on the fictitious non-implementation of the Moerane Report and blame the premier of KZN,” Mabaso said.

“Also deeply concerning is that selective amnesia is exercised in this regard.”

He said the media was equally to blame as it tended to jump on the bandwagon without verifying the claims.

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“It deeply concerns us when the media, who are supposed to be public watchdogs, choose to distort information and indirectly promote a propaganda narrative without any shred of evidence or any effort to establish the facts,” Mabaso said.

He said that among the recommendations the government had implemented was the referral of tender contracts to the Treasury, which the commission deemed to be one of the main contributing factors to the killings.

“At the KZN provincial government level, we said all tenders that are valued above R5 million must be assessed by the Treasury before they are finalised and awarded – this process is being implemented.

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“The report spells out very clearly that everybody, including each political party, has to address intra-party issues and has a level of responsibility as far as the report is concerned.

“This is the reason the premier established the multi-party political intervention committee, chaired by the MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, Peggy Nkonyeni.

“As to why political parties are insulated from responsibility, no one knows. To date, as per the remedial actions, all organs of the state are compelled to publish the names of companies that are awarded state contracts,” Mabaso said.

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However, political parties maintain that the provincial government is unable to deal with the matter, which is a great emergency.

The DA chief whip in the KZN legislature, Zwakele Mngcwango, said it was untrue that the multi-party intervention committee was in response to the Moerane Commission. He said the premier’s office must acknowledge the threat that political instability posed if it was not nipped in the bud.

“The KZN government has a tendency of not addressing the issue at hand, and rather debating non-starters. The government should tell people what it has done, not give speeches, but the practical results around the Moerane Commission. Some of the recommendations are reviewing the tender process system, yet there has been no policy seeking to amend to that effect.

“The multi-party political intervention committee was there even at the time of former premier Zweli Mkhize, and it was initially proposed during Willies Mchunu’s time. I served in it for years. The premier should work urgently to drastically curb the political killings,” Mngcwango said.

The IFP’s spokesperson on community safety and liaison Blessed Gwala said the current provincial government was the worst since the democratic dispensation in dealing with issues of violent crime.

“KwaZulu-Natal has become a haven for criminals and hired assassins. The police are doing the best they can to eradicate criminal activities, drug-related issues and the killing of politicians, but inadequate resources with no political will on the side of the government are a cause for concern.”

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