‘Only political parties can fix the root causes of the killings’

Mangaqa Mncwango is an IFP leader in the Nongoma Local Municipality. File Picture: Bongani Mbatha/ Independent Newspapers

Mangaqa Mncwango is an IFP leader in the Nongoma Local Municipality. File Picture: Bongani Mbatha/ Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 9, 2024


Durban — Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe says the only solution to the unabated political killings in KwaZulu-Natal would be when political parties sort out intra-political issues rather than relying on the police.

Seepe was reacting to the killing of yet another councillor in the province on Wednesday, where IFP councillor Ndukwenhle Duma was gunned down in front of his wife.

In this incident, two pupils died in the crossfire when gunmen also shot at a passing taxi carrying children returning from school. It is not clear whether the gunmen deliberately shot at the children to erase evidence, or if they were hit by stray bullets.

Seepe said the reason political killings were not being stopped was because no one was dealing with the root causes.

He added that the police, “as expected, were investigating murders and not mainly focusing on root causes”, which may be political. He said it would be difficult for police to investigate root causes because they would need to get into political space which was not their terrain.

The Zululand University professor said the onus was on political parties to solve the intra-political dynamics which by implication were the root causes of the killings.

“Political parties must sort out their political processes of selecting candidates. The problem was the use of money in this process. If the selection process is influenced by money, what can stop people from paying hit men to kill those who bought their candidacy?

“I am not insinuating that those who are being killed had bought their way to the top, but I’m just making an example,” said Seepe.

According to Mangaqa Mncwango, an IFP leader in the Nongoma Local Municipality, councillor Duma had a breakdown along the R618 road between Nongoma and KwaSomkhele, in Mtubatuba. Mncwango added that while waiting for a mechanic, unknown gunmen appeared and started shooting him in front of his wife.

Mncwango said the party and councillors were still shocked and disturbed by the killing of Duma, whom he described as a young and energetic ward 11 councillor who was loved by his community of KwaDabhasi.

A councillor in Nongoma who spoke on condition of anonymity for safety reasons said the murdered councillor was also in the mining business and therefore it would be difficult to “look at politics only about his death”.

Duma was the second IFP leader to be killed in the space of a week following the shooting of the party’s interim iMbabazane constituency secretary, Mthokozisi Sithole, in Weenen last week.

Duma’s killing was condemned by national police commissioner General Fannie Masemola, who announced the deployment of the national task team responsible for investigating political killings to Nongoma to take charge of the matter.

He ordered the mobilisation of maximum resources to apprehend those behind this incident.

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