Rise Mzansi KwaZulu-Natal has called on the police to prioritise the investigations into the shooting of a councillor and scholars in the KwaNongoma area, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday.
The party said in a statement that it is calling on the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Community Safety and Liaison and the South African Police Service to prioritise this matter.
The police on Wednesday reported that an IFP and a pupil were shot dead in KwaNongoma.
They said National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola, had deployed the National Task Team responsible for investigating political killings to the Nongoma area following the incident.
The National Commissioner has also ordered the mobilisation of maximum resources to apprehend those behind this outrage.
The police said a preliminary investigation indicated the IFP ward councillor, who is attached to Nongoma Local Municipality, was ambushed along the R618 in Nongoma while attending to a vehicle breakdown on Wednesday afternoon.
A group of armed men stopped next to his vehicle and shot the councillor multiple times. He succumbed to his injuries on the scene, police said.
They added that the suspects then fired shots at a passing scholar transport taxi that was transporting children. Four children were shot and wounded. Two of them were aged 11 and 12 years, and one of them died.
Nonkululeko Hlongwane-Mhlongo, RISE Mzansi KwaZulu-Natal Convenor, said they were calling on leaders of political parties to hold their members accountable and foster an environment of political tolerance between and within political parties.
“Political killings and the politically linked violence have been an issue for years in KwaZulu-Natal. Most of the murder cases reported after the 2016 and 2021 Local Government Elections were associated with infighting within structures and municipalities over positions.
“We extend our sincere condolences to the family members, colleagues, and friends of the deceased. We also wish a speedy recovery for the wounded learners. Elections are a central feature of democracy. For elections to express the will of the electorate, they must be free and fair,” she said.