The South African Local Government Association (Salga), which represents more than 257 local governments, has expressed its concern over Monday’s killing of a Rand Water executive who was killed while on a back-to-school campaign in the south of Johannesburg.
The official, identified as Teboho Joala, is reported to have been shot while on an official campaign at the Zakarriya Park Community Hall while the City of Joburg Chief whip, Sthembiso Zungu, is said to be recovering.
The reason for the fatal shooting has not been established yet but Salga President, Bheke Stofile, told Newzroom Afrika that these incidents have the potential to lead to SA being run by mafias with various interests.
He said this is not the first time such incidents have occurred, adding that Salga has in the past conducted a study on similar killings.
“Some of the views expressed in the Moerane Commission made some recommendations on how such issues should be dealt with... When issues arise people resort to killing each other. These are the matters that we have brought to the President of the Republic. If these matters do not receive priority, the reality of the matter is that South Africa is going to be run by mafias which in itself will be formed by various interests,” Stofile said.
Stofile has called for government to act in the interests of officials who are being targeted and killed for doing their work.
The Moerane Commission was a commission of inquiry established by the premier of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Willies Mchunu, to investigate political killings in the province.
KZN continues to be the centre of political killings since the advent of democracy with data collected by the Global Initiative on Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) since 2000 showing that there has been a marked increase in the number of assassinations, especially since 2015.
The report indicates that, of the 418 political hits recorded nationwide between 2000 and 2021, 213 took place in the last seven years, and of that number, 118 were in KZN.
Stofile said government should do something about political killings, especially against municipal officials.
“We are going to continue raising these matters and we convey our condolences to the members of the official who was shot dead. If we allow things to happen like this, we must expect more similar deaths as we head into the elections,” he said.