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KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala shocked at spate of traditional leader killings; 42 criminal cases dating back to 2012

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 5, 2022

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DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has expressed shock at the number of murders of chiefs in the province at a high level imbizo in Durban on Wednesday afternoon.

“Traditional leadership is an important institution. As the provincial government we take the safety and security of amakhosi and izinduna seriously and any threat to their safety possesses a threat to the stability of our province. We need to collectively develop a coordinated approach that will ensure maximum impact in the prevention and combating of the murders involving amakhosi and izinduna in our province.

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“We are deeply concerned at the spate of murders involving amakhosi and izinduna who are assassinated at their homes,” said Zikalala.

During the imbizo, law enforcement presented a report to provincial government leaders, which showed the prioritisation of 42 criminal cases dating back to 2012, involving the murders and attempted murders of amakhosi and izinduna.

According to the report, 28 izinduna and five amakhosi have been killed during the period under investigation. Law enforcement said more than 20 people had been arrested.

Law enforcement said: “To date 25 people have been arrested in relation to some of the cases. The case dockets have been consolidated and are with a team of dedicated investigators and combat teams. The investigations are at an advanced stage and police are working closely to get to the root cause of the murders. Some of the motives behind the killings of amakhosi and izinduna include the struggle for chieftaincy, land disputes, family disputes and taxi related disputes.”

During the recent spate of killings, Daily News reported the murder of two traditional leaders in the King Cetshwayo district in one week. On November 14, 2021, KwaMpukane Royal House’s Inkosi Hlanganani Biyela was shot and killed just three days after Mzomuhle Zondi of the Zondi Traditional Council was killed in a similar manner.

Zikalala said his commitment to hold talks in every district would provide an opportunity for amakhosi and izinduna in the province an opportunity to make their inputs on these killings.

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KZN government leaders attended the meeting, including Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka, Transport and Community Safety MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, Provincial House of Traditional Leaders chairperson Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza and police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

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