Instability and political killings go hand in hand, says Willies Mchunu
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Durban - Former KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu says that it would be a grave mistake to disassociate the general instability in KZN from the politically motivated killings that continues to plague the province ahead of next Monday’s local government elections.
Mchunu’s comments come as killings have resurfaced in the province in recent weeks with the NFP’s ward 17 candidate in Nongoma, Dumisani Qwabe, being the latest victim in recent weeks as the local government elections loom large.
Speaking during a television interview on Wednesday, Mchunu said that some of those involved in stoking the instability are also members of the ANC and they were the ones who come within the ANC and cause disruptions, but that this did not happen only in the ANC as there was a similar issue in other political parties.
“The Moerane Commission urged for the involvement of civil society organisations and if you take political killings and disassociate it from the general instability that comes about during the time of government elections, whether they’re local or provincial and national, then you are making a mistake. Right through our lives in KwaZulu-Natal, we’re living with a lot of instability,” Mchunu said.
He called for a strong capacity in the country’s intelligence, adding that without proper intelligence, there cannot be proper security.
“Then you don’t shoot in the dark because you know who are the culprits, who are the driving forces in this type of violence and then in that case the state, the President and even the Minister can directly act. Even the police, you can deploy your police properly, but if that structure has some weaknesses in it, forget about security,” Mchunu said.
The former premier also painted a grim picture of one of the biggest factors that lead to political killings, particularly in and around election periods in the province.
Mchunu said that for many parties in the province, local government was a lucrative job and that whether you are educated or uneducated you can be a councillor.
“Therefore it’s either people fight to be councillors themselves and they’re prepared to kill in the process, or those who are already councillors resist coming out of councillorship and for that matter they are prepared to kill to retain their positions,” Mchunu said.
He said that the supporters were also willing to organise killings if their candidates were faced with obstacles in either becoming councillors or retaining their positions as councillors and that this was solely to be close to employment opportunities and to whatever corruption they could lay their hands on within the governance framework.
“Those are the findings, they are not being said by me, they were said directly by the Moerane Commission, but all of us have a role. That’s why the Moerane Commission did not only concentrate on the security forces or the government only.”
On Tuesday, the NFP announced the killing of Qwabe, with the party saying that his car had bullet holes and bloodstains, an indication that Qwabe might have been shot before being put in the car, which was then set alight.
In recent weeks the province has seen six other politically motivated killings, including the three women who were shot dead in a drive-by shooting by an armed gang in Inanda, north of Durban, while attending an ANC meeting.
Last week, EFF ward councillor candidate Thulani Shangase was also gunned down in Pietermaritzburg, after being involved in campaigning for the red berets while Siyabonga Mkhize, an ANC councillor candidate for ward 101 in eThekwini, was shot dead while on the campaign trail in Cato Crest.