Mthakathi Makhathini at a prayer meeting at Chesterville Community hall yesterday for peaceful elections. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Mthakathi Makhathini at a prayer meeting at Chesterville Community hall yesterday for peaceful elections. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban community pray for peaceful elections following the death of 3 ward councillor candidates

By Sibusiso Mboto, Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Oct 28, 2021

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DURBAN - A COMMUNITY prayer was held in Chesterville yesterday for peaceful elections.

The prayer, which was attended about 200 people, comes after a third ward councillor candidate was killed earlier this week in the province.

On Tuesday, the NFP said Dumisani Qwabe, its ward 17 councillor candidate in Nongoma was found murdered.

In recent weeks the province has seen six other politically motivated killings, including three women who were shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Inanda, north of Durban, while attending an ANC meeting.

Last week, EFF ward councillor candidate Thulani Shangase was gunned down in Pietermaritzburg, while Siyabonga Mkhize, an ANC councillor candidate for ward 101 in eThekwini, was shot dead while on the campaign trail in Cato Crest.

Mthakathi Makhathini said no amount of political disagreement should result in the death of people whether from different political parties or within one party.

Makhathini said the recent killing of a political activist in the area had prompted the need for a prayer meeting.

Community members from ward 24 and ward 29 gathered at the St Barnabas Anglican Church to pray for peaceful elections.

“We just want to see peaceful campaigning, political tolerance building up to, during and after the elections. That was the primary purpose for the prayer meeting,” said Makhathini.

He expressed satisfaction with the commitment shown by community members and how they had responded to the prayer call.

Makhathini said he was satisfied with the level of maturity demonstrated by ANC members in the area who had allowed other parties to campaign without any incidents.

“If you come to the area you will see different posters, none of them defaced and that is what we want to see,” Makhatini said.

The man who is vying for the councillor position said if elected he would look to accelerate service delivery and be more responsive to the needs of the people living in the area. The local government elections will be held on Monday.

Speaking on politically motivated killings yesterday, the province’s former premier Willies Mchunu called for stronger intelligence capacity to effectively deal with political killings in the province.

Mchunu was speaking during a TV interview yesterday where he said that effective intelligence would help the state arrest those who are the driving force behind the killings.

Of the latest spate of killings, Mchunu said that the incidents appeared to be like those that occurred when he was premier and which led to the establishment of the Moerane Commission of Inquiry into Political Killings.

He said that for some time there had been interventions by political parties and security agencies, however, the contest for local government control in the province remained the biggest problem area.

“In that sense there were directives that were supposed to have been followed and it wasn’t just the provincial government or local government or just the security forces that had a role to play to deal with this matter, there were many other state departments that were supposed to be involved,” Mchunu said.

He cited the notorious Glebelands Hostel as an example of how there had even been allegations against police officers, some of whom lived in the hostel’s residence, of being perpetrators of the violence.

He called for a stronger focus on resources, adding that without proper intelligence there could not be proper security.

“Even with police, you can deploy your police properly, but if that structure has some weaknesses in it, forget about security,” Mchunu said.

THE MERCURY

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