Tshwane adopts violent killing of political figures that troubled KZN, says David Makhura
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Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has adopted the violent killing of political figures that has troubled KwaZulu-Natal, where assassins have been hired to kill rival leaders.
This was the sentiment of Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Police Minister Bheki Cele when they visited the home of Pretoria ward 22 councillor Tshepo Motaung, who was killed in an apparently politically motivated assassination on Friday.
Cele and Makhura were joined by Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko and provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela to pass on their condolences to the family of the councillor, who was apparently shot at close range from an R5 assault rifle.
ANC members gathered outside his home calling for justice, following a community protest by locals who said that they wanted the names of those who sent gunmen to open fire on Motaung’s car when he arrived in Mabopane Block UX following the party's recent councillor candidate selection process.
Makhura said: “These incidents have risen to a new level, and a lot of our councillors feel unsafe in these communities.
“In fact, on my way here I was told that three councillors are not staying at their homes. They have now moved out of their homes because they feel they could be attacked and killed.
“This is a matter that we have elevated to the minister of police.
“We would like this matter and all these killings to be dealt with in the same fashion that the national team from the police got into KwaZulu-Natal when there were political killings,” Makhura said.
He said these violent incidents were closely linked to the disruption of infrastructure projects, such as the building of schools, roads, clinics and the building and maintenance of roads in areas like Mabopane, Atteridgeville, Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Hammanskraal.
"In the past two months these incidents have risen to a new level," said Makhura, who also referenced the killing of another political figure in Mamelodi during a ward 15 ANC councillor nomination process last month.
Cele said that a special team had landed in Pretoria and would investigate the killing of political figures, starting with those where nobody had been arrested.
He said, without revealing too much, that he was satisfied and convinced that the police could make some arrests even before the funeral on Saturday.
The minister added that they were specifically looking for the people who hired the shooters, because most of the time the shooters did not even know who they were killing, or why.
He said that it was brutal to kill a man with more than 20 bullets at close range with an R5 assault rifle, which was powerful enough to kill an elephant.
Motaung was the third councillor to be killed in the area.
The late councillor’s brother and family spokesperson, Tebogo Motaung, said this was a very painful experience for the family because they had gone to the scene of the shooting, and to the hospital where they had identified his body.
"We want justice, and through justice my family and the comrades of ward 22 will be at peace.
“We hope that Minister Cele can close this case very soon because despite everything, the legacy of Tshepo Motaung must live on. He loved the ANC with all his heart.“
Motaung was with his uncle and nephew when they were ambushed.
His uncle was wounded and rushed to hospital, while his nephew escaped unscathed as they all jumped out of the car and ran.