Durban — With attacks on its councillors seeming to continue unabated in Nongoma north of KwaZulu-Natal, the National Freedom Party (NFP) has called for a night curfew to be imposed in the Nongoma area.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the NFP expressed concerns at the continued attacks on its councillors and their families. The party’s call for night curfew was prompted by the killing of the party councillor Senzeni Zulu’s husband by the hitmen who had reportedly come for her. The incident happened on Saturday night.
NFP leader Canaan Mdletshe said the party believes the curfew would assist because police will have powers to limit the movement of people at night, thereby intercepting attacks planned to be carried out at night.
He said since July this year, NFP councillors in the area of Nongoma have been mercilessly attacked and killed, adding that in the same month (July 2023), councillor Nonhlanhla Zungu survived two attempts on her life, which left her family members injured after being shot.
“At the end of the same month, councillor Ntombenhle Mchunu was shot and killed whilst sleeping at her home.
“On August 23, councillor Mphathiseni Manqele was shot but luckily survived the attack and is still in hospital where he is recovering. And just at weekend, a spouse of councillor Senzeni Zulu was shot and killed by two men who came to the homestead looking for our councillor,” said Mdletshe.
He further stated that the surge in councillor attacks and killings in the area has instilled fear not only among councillors but the general public as well. He added that this is a serious threat to stability and respect for the law. He said criminals and alleged hired hitmen have imposed themselves and are becoming a law unto themselves.
‘’If it's not stopped now, it has a potential to spill over to other parts of KZN and threaten peace and security, especially as we head towards the most crucial elections in the country next year.
“It is behind this background that the party urges the government to consider imposing a curfew in the area. It is our view that imposing a curfew could go a long way in bringing about much-needed stability. It's a last resort because all other attempts and calls for the protection of our councillors have fallen on deaf ears. This is our cry for help. It's a desperate call,” concludes the statement.
Mdletshe also attributed the rise of hitmen in Nongoma to the social and economic challenges of the area, saying the overall picture paints a rural town that is experiencing huge social and economic challenges which now breed criminals and criminality.
The Police Ministry is yet to comment on the call.
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