Killing of ANC members unlikely to stop, says analyst
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Durban - The killing of ANC members is unlikely to stop, even after the elections, warns KZN violence monitor and expert Mary de Haas.
This is as the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has called on Premier Willies Mchunu to launch an urgent commission of inquiry into the killings as the province threatens to explode with violence.
“I hope I am wrong, but indications are that we are heading for a very grim period,” she told The Mercury on Tuesday.
De Haas was speaking after the murder of two more ANC members on Monday, who were candidates for ward councillor positions in Harding and Ladysmith.
At least 14 ANC members, at branch level or who are running to be councillors, have been gunned down.
Bongani Skhosana, a Ward 1 candidate in Harding, was killed at his home, while Khanyisile Ngobese Sibisi, a Ward 20 candidate in Ladysmith, was shot on her way to a Mandela Day event.
Sibisi was described as a hard worker who loved her community. She held various leadership roles in the past including with the South African Democratic Teachers Union and the ANC Women’s League. She was a former teacher.
She had left behind four children, including 10-year-old twins.
Nonhlanhla Khumalo, ANC ward branch chairwoman in Edendale, outside Pietermaritzburg, narrowly escaped an attempt on her life at her home last week.
“There is deep division within the ANC and there are powerful factions. There is also deep resentment over the nominations list where some candidates were pushed on to people and the thinking now is that there will always be a by-election,” said De Haas.
“The fact that the killings are continuing even after the nomination has closed is very worrying. It suggests they are likely to continue.”
Even more worrying was that it seemed the murders were conducted by professional killers and those ordering them evaded justice.
“To know what time someone takes their child to school suggests they were being watched. And to be brazen to shoot them in front of a crowd, during the day and walk away, shows they are professionals,” she said.
ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma also described the shootings as a deliberate and well-orchestrated campaign to cull the party’s candidates and admitted many were under siege.
“Several ANC candidates for being councillors have been shot during the past few weeks and many others have received death threats. All killings appear to have been executed by well-trained operatives,” said Zuma.
He said the party had called on Mchunu to establish an urgent commission of inquiry to look into them killings.
Party provincial spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli said a commission would give the families and those who witnessed the killings a chance to come forward and provide information.
Khumalo said she now survived by “a prayer” and no longer walked out at night.
“They have told us to our faces that we will be killed.”
She said her home was shot at seven times.
“There was a bullet hole in my kitchen door and the bullet was lodged in my cutlery.”
Five cartridges were found in her yard and there was another bullet lodged in the wall.
Ndabe Sibiya, spokesman for Mchunu, said the premier had noted the request for an inquiry and he would consult relevant government structures.