If one were to refer to the province of KwaZulu-Natal as the South African capital of political killings, many people would find it absolutely impossible to argue against that stance, because there is a disturbing uptrend in assassinations which is currently happening in that part of the country.
Since the we ushered in the local government elections season, more than 10 politicians have lost their lives, and the characterisation of the problem was believed to be ANC’s intra-party dynamics as a preponderant number of those who have lost their lives are ANC members.
Albeit the problem is mainly associated wit the ANC, it seems leaders in other political parties are beginning to copy from the same script as the ruling party, this was evident again this morning when reports emerged that a National Freedom Party (NFP) Councillor candidate was shot in broad daylight this morning.
According to a reliable report by The Witness, Dumisani Mwabe was shot in his hometown of Nongoma, Northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The party’s general Secretary, Canaan Mdletshe stated that Mwabe was a ward 17 Councillor aspiratant, before revealing the graphic details of his death, indicating that the deceased was discovered in his burning vehicle, dead, on Tuesday morning.
A police investigation was conducted, and although it didn’t conclude that the incident was political influenced, it found that Mwabe’s car was covered sprayed with bullets, suggestively indicating that it might have been a hit.
Mdletshe also indicated that “some of the party’s aspiring politicians are now afraid to continue campaign, as they fear for their lives.”
Out of this fear, a myriad of political parties have called for the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in KwaZulu-Natal at least during the election period. One can easily bet their last cent that before the 1 November polls, the likelihood of an incident of such nature reoccuring is high.
The issue of political intolerance and resolving of political differences through elimination of opponents has dogged the province for many years.
In 2016, then KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Willies Mchunu instituted a commission which was chaired by Advocate Moerane to investigate the genesis of political killings, it seems its recommendations were of no significance as the problem still persists to this day.
Distinguished journalist and author, Greg Arde wrote a book in which he spoke about the nature of politics in KZN, and he discovered that during local government elections, there is highetened tensions as leaders squabble for positions, and many of those who eliminate their rivals are political careerists.
If one were to make a suggestion to President Cyril Ramaphosa, he may need to consider deploying the military to KZN again ahead of the elections, else this problem will only get worse over the next few days and weeks.
NOTE: the picture of the deceased was not easy to obtain, sorry for the inconvenience.