ANC KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, and spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu at Wednesday's press briefing.PHOTO: ANA

DURBAN  – The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal has described the Moerane Commission’s report on political killings as an opportunity to open “a new chapter” in the volatile province. 

Provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli on Wednesday said that the party would not hesitate to “act with haste against anyone within our ranks found to have played a part in these criminal activities, and we appeal to all other political parties to do the same”.

Ntuli was speaking at the ANC's headquarters in Durban during a press briefing. He was joined by the provincial spokesperson, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu established the Moerane Commission of inquiry in October 2016 to look into the underlying causes of political killings in the province from 2011 onwards.

The 424-page report released on Thursday last week contains summaries of the more than 60 witness testimonies from the commission, which ran for more than a year after being granted two extensions.

The report also contained seven pages of recommendations garnered from those who testified and suggestions put forth by the commissioner. All of the recommendations had repeatedly been made before by activists, commentators, civil society groups and ANC members themselves.

When he was asked what he thought was new in the recommendations, Ntuli said that they were now “scientific” and not based on “perceptions”. 

The recommendations included political parties educating their members on democratic practices and tolerance and immediately reporting those involved in killings to the relevant authorities.

It was also recommended that tender processes be investigated to ensure they adhered to the constitution; that public services be depoliticised and professionalised and that the separation of powers and responsibilities between public representatives and public officials be enforced, amongst others. 

“As the ANC, we commit to ensuring that all acts of wrongdoing identified in the report are tackled head-on so that all the elements that tarnish the image of our province are exposed and flushed-out,” said Ntuli.

He said that an ANC provincial task team had been established that would decide on timelines and action plans to implement the recommendations. “We want the team to study the report and then work at key strategic tasks that need to be performed,” he said.

In the past weeks, police have made several arrests relating to political killings in the province.

In a case sitting in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, an ANC Councillor was charged alongside five other suspects in the assassination of party activist and former Councillor Musawenkosi Mchunu, who was killed at his home in kwaPata earlier this year.

In another incident, the party’s regional secretary in KwaDukuza, Musi Zondi, was this month convicted of murder for an incident that took place in 2015. He is awaiting sentencing.

A suspect was also arrested this month for the murder of former ANC  youth league secretary-general, Sindiso Magaqa. More arrests are expected in the case.

Ntuli said the party was waiting for the conclusion of the cases before offering comment.

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African News Agency (ANA)