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Political parties welcome progress in political killings probe

Police Minister Bheki Cele of SAPS at the media briefing in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi African news agency (ANA)

Police Minister Bheki Cele of SAPS at the media briefing in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi African news agency (ANA)

Published Jun 3, 2021

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DURBAN - POLITICAL parties in KwaZulu-Natal have welcomed the Inter-Ministerial Committee’s (IMC) announcement of court appearance dates for some of those allegedly involved in political killings.

ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela welcomed the announcement, which he said “was long overdue”.

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“You will remember that these matters did go to court before, but disappeared into thin air because of lack of evidence,” Ntombela said.

He said he hoped this time the IMC had done all that was necessary so that there would not be a repeat of the previous incidents.

“We will closely monitor the developments, because we want to know who is responsible for these killings,” Ntombela said.

He said the party, and the families of those killed, needed closure.

“The death of our member left orphans in his household. It would please us to see his killers being sentenced,” said IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli.

Police Minister Bheki Cele briefed the media on Wednesday on the new developments, at the SAPS provincial headquarters.

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Cele, on behalf of the IMC, announced that those allegedly involved in the murder of ANC Youth League (ANCYL) secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa would appear in court on July 19.

He said a task team had arrested eight suspects, five of whom were charged with his murder. One of the suspects had died.

The case of those allegedly involved in the murder of former ANC ward councillor Qashana Mchunu was to be heard in court on July 26.

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Seven suspects were arrested, one was charged with murder and four faced charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

The alleged killers of IFP member Sibuyiselo Phineas Dlamini would appear in court on November 22.

The four killers of EFF member Sibusiso Mbhobo had received life sentences, and the killer of National Freedom Party member Derrick Mthethwa was serving a 10-year prison sentence.

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Cele said these successes had been made despite Covid-19 challenges.

He raised concern about 16 police officers being linked to police killings.

Cele also warned councillors who were opening “fake cases”, which were mainly intimidation and attempted murder cases.

He said political murders had decreased significantly.

In 2016, 31 murders were reported; 2017 (20); 2018 (12); 2019 (14); 2020 (14); and four were reported this year.

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Bheki Cele

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