IFP calls for task team to probe rural crime, murders
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Durban - CRIME has been rife in the rural parts of Kwazulu- Natal with high- profile incidents of abuse of farm workers and murders of amakhosi and izinduna being reported in the recent months.
In an effort to curb crime in these areas, the Department of Transport, Safety and Community Liaison and the Department for Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs yesterday signed a protocol agreement to work closely with amamkhosi.
However, the IFP said this was not enough. Instead, the party demanded the establishment of a special task team to investigate such murders.
IFP KZN spokesperson for community safety and liaison Blessed Gwala said it was high time for a task team, similar to the one investigating taxi violence, to be established.
“The provincial government has a duty to protect its people’s right to life. This bloodbath must stop now, and those responsible for it must be brought to justice.”
Induna Prince Hlabisa, of the Matshamnyama Hlabisa Traditional Council in the umkhanyakude district, was murdered on Sunday at his home by unknown gunmen.
Gwala said the party demanded action from the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs ( COGTA) and community safety and liaison MECS, as well as the premier to act swiftly and stop this bloodbath in Kwazulu- Natal.
Department of Transport Community Safety and Liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli, during the protocol agreement signing in Ulundi, said he believed that the agreement would foster cooperation and collaboration with amakhosi, recognising them as key stakeholders in pursuit of the departmental objections of building a united front against crime.
Ntuli said: “Over and above the loss of life and immediate human suffering, the lack of security and stability in rural and farming communities causes serious disruptions to the economy.
COGTA MEC Sipho Hlomuka has hailed the signing of the protocol agreement as a turning point in government’s efforts to fight crime in rural communities.
Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders Inkosi Phathizwe Chiliza said he committed the house to work together with all stakeholders.