File picture: Independent Media

Durban - A "culture of impunity” has been blamed for the continued murders of politicians in the KwaZulu-Natal.

This as ANC activist Sifiso Mlambo became the latest victim in Esikhawini on Wednesday night.

Mlambo, the ANC Msizi Dube branch secretary, was murdered in the Empembeni area of Esikhawini.

KZN violence monitor Mary de Haas said there was a culture of impunity and people sensed that because they had carried out several murders without being apprehended, they could continue to get away with their actions.

She said it would be premature to speculate on the motive behind Mlambo’s murder, although the fact that he was an ANC member did raise political motives.

“There’s a culture of impunity out there. There hasn’t been a single conviction for any of the people killed in the last two years.

“If hitmen are employed it becomes even more difficult because they become expendable. If there’s any sign that police are closing in on them, they can get taken out or they can disappear,” she said.

She said that when people were shot like Mlambo it suggested that it was a hit of some sort, but also that hits took place for different reasons such as conflict over business interests or personal relationships.

“The ANC may be talking unity but the situation is pretty fluid at the moment. The fact that they’re talking unity, and the shootings continue, suggests the factions are there. There’s still competition going on along those lines,” De Haas said.

ANC KZN spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said the party had not been able get to the bottom of the killings over the past year.

“We’re worried because if you lose so many grassroots activists it has the potential to undermine the ANC’s capacity to remain a leader of society. What worries us is the loss of life firstly, but secondly if this trend continues it means our base as an organisation is being eroded," he said.

Police said no arrests had been made.

The Independent on Saturday