The African National Congress (ANC) ward councillor in Richmond Township, Northern Cape, Sfiso Mkhize has been shot dead.
Sfiso Mkhize was attacked and gunned down just a short distance from his home on Thursday night. His killing now brings to three the number of political figures killed in the violence-ravaged region in the past few months.
In March, Richmond municipal manager S’bu Sithole was gunned down while the city’s deputy mayor Thandazile Phoswa was killed a month after.
Phoswa was allegedly killed by her estranged boyfriend – a bodyguard at the uMshwathi municipality.
Sithole, 39, was gunned down on Victoria Street on a Monday morning while driving to his office. His killers had posed as police officers and pulled him over as he was driving to the office. He was driving without his bodyguards on that day.
He was shot four times through the passenger side window while opening the door of his vehicle.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube has expressed her shock at Mkhize’s gruesome murder.
She called for a joined effort to fight off the killings of public representatives in the region.
Dube-Ncube added: “This is an extremely difficult time for the fraternity of local government as we mourn yet another loss of a public representative at the hands of cold-blooded assassins who have no respect for human life.
We will not be deterred as leaders in the sphere of local government by this unfortunate incident. We must all come together to keep the pressure on the criminals in our society who create an atmosphere of fear through the murder of local government representatives.”
The police are yet to establish the motive behind the killing of Sfiso Mkhize. However, a case of murder has been registered with the Political Task Team, according to Hawks national spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
Mulaudzi buttressed that the newly formed Political Task Team will be investigating the matter further. The task team was commissioned earlier this year by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
There have been a number of political assassinations in post-apartheid South Africa. In the run-up to the 2016 local government elections, there were at least twenty political assassinations, most of them in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Most political assassinations have been linked to battles around patronage within the ANC. However, investigations found that not all assassinations are as a result of conflict within the ruling party
Facts About Politics In Northern Cape
- The politics of the Northern Cape is dominated by the African National Congress (ANC). However, the ruling party is strong and fairly united (compared with the Eastern Cape or North-West).
- The ANC currently governs 24 of the 26 local municipalities in the province.
- The ANC enjoys the greatest support in the densely populated and Tswana dominated northern districts but faces stronger challenges in the more thinly populated Afrikaans speaking Karoo areas.
- The Northern Cape only accounts for five of the 200 Parliamentary seats chosen through the provincial vote.
- The Northern Cape Provincial current legislature is made up of a unicameral body of 30 members and the African National Congress has a majority of 20 members.
- The Northern Cape ANC was the first province to endorse Ramaphosa (64).
- For the DA, the Northern Cape represents the next leg of growth, shooting out from the party’s powerfully dominated Western Cape.
- Native speakers of Afrikaans comprise a higher percentage of the population in the Northern Cape than in any other province.
- The Northern Cape’s four official languages are Afrikaans, Tswana, Xhosa, and English.