The fast rising rate of political killing in South Africa has become an issue of major concern to South Africans as the country approach its general election in less than two years.
Considering the rate of killings in the country, particularly with about 4 ANC officials Gunned Down recently, citizens are concerned that Political killings of leadership contenders will soon become an incurable scar on the conscience of the country.
For South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC which at the moment still battle with factionalism seems to be at the forefront of the rising killings with about four of its officials being shot dead in less than months.
Among the ANC officials Gunned Down in the past few months include:
- Councillor Thembinkosi Zoleka: He was gunned down in June by unknown men. The ANC PR Councillor for Ray Nkonyeni Municipality was killed just within the period he stepped out to represent the ANC in the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. Zoleka was listed among the fourteen or more ANC members who have been killed in less than one year.
- Sfiso Mkhize: The ANC ward Councillor in Richmond Township, Northern Cape, is among the 4 ANC officials Gunned Down. He was shot dead in June. The 39 year-old Richmond Councillor was attacked and gunned down just a few miles from his house. His death follows the killing of Richmond municipal manager S’bu Sithole and the city’s deputy mayor Thandazile Phoswa who were both killed in same manner weeks earlier.
- Sindiso Magaqa: The ANC Youth league former general-secretary died on Monday, September 4th, at the Albert Luthuli Hospital after being shot by unknown gunman. Magaqa who was a mayoral committee member of a local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal was shot in July after attending an ANC meeting. There were rumours, however, that “Super” [a nickname given to Magaqa] had not died from gunshot wounds, but something more suspicious.
- Thando Mxaka: The Ward 25 Nelson Mandela Bay ANC branch leader made the latest list of the ANC officials Gunned Down. He was reportedly gunned down on September 6th while arriving at his Zwide home. Mxaka’s death happened just two days after the death of Magaga who was attacked along with other ANC members
Meanwhile, a commission set up to investigate the political killings in the Kwazulu-Natal province received information that the politicians were murdered because they opposed corruption.
This assertion was made by a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Dean MacPherson who believed that the victims were assassinated for either dismissing corrupt officials or not granting tenders to specific people.
Similarly, political analysts claim the recent killings of political leaders, particularly those in KwaZulu-Natal, are related to competition over positions.
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These actions, according to them, are robbing the country of promising young leaders. A lot of people speculate that the cause of all this political violence is over infighting amongst party members. Government is, however, blamed for not taking action fast enough.
Taking another person’s life because of political differences or the pursuit of power is futile and chips away at our democracy. … When parties and their members or leaders are in conflict, it doesn’t only affect them, but it ultimately hurts the people”
The Freedom Fighters have shown concern over the wide spread of political killing in the country, calling for a quick stop before it degenerates to violence because such will lead to common ruins.