Video by Samkelo Mtshali
Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala voiced his concerns on Wednesday that the province was becoming the capital for murder in the country given the continuous political killings, taxi industry violence and drug related violence in communities.
Zikalala was speaking during his opening address of the three-day long provincial government Lekgotla in Mayville, Durban, on Wednesday, where he highlighted rampant crime in the province as a major concern which had left communities feeling unsafe.
Zikalala said that the people of the province were faced with the issue of crime, ranging from political killings, the murder of traditional leaders, violence in the taxi industry to killings that occur in communities and are perceived to be driven by a high level of drugs.
“We do need to pay attention to that and in this Lekgotla we hope that through the presentation from the Security Cluster we’ll be able to deal with these issues. These are issues that are affecting the people of KwaZulu-Natal on a daily basis.
“KwaZulu-Natal is becoming a capital for murder and rape in South Africa and we need to ensure that we get rid of this impression that is created about the province,” Zikalala said.
Earlier this month, Police Minister Bheki Cele visited KwaZulu-Natal in the wake of political killings that saw ANC eThekwini ward 103 councillor Minenhle Mkhize, 39, gunned down outside his home on January 22 and the murder of Amajuba District Municipality Speaker Reginald Ndima a week later on January 29.
During his visit, Cele said that the political task team that was established to investigate political killings had probed 258 dockets and made 289 arrests in relation to politically motivated killings.
However, since the build-up to the local government elections and after the elections the political killings have continued, and Zikalala acknowledged that this was a big challenge for the police.
“The police continue to arrest people who are suspected of killing political leaders, but at the same time the killings are continuing and that speaks to the role of political parties.
“That’s why we even said the minister and government, in general leaders, will be meeting political parties – the ANC, the IFP and the NFP – which are the main affected parties to also engage them to address internal issues so that we curb this,” Zikalala said.
He went on to commend police for instances where their intervention was critical in stopping the killings of political leaders before they took place and arresting those planning to eliminate leaders.
“That work must continue, but the real, real, thing that must happen is that political parties must also assist and diffuse tensions between the respective parties and the government must assist the investigations,” Zikalala said.