Tshwane ward councillors

Photo: Supplied

Political Murders Update: ‘The murder rate has dropped significantly’ – Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele says the inter ministerial committee task team on political murders in KZN will be beefed up ahead of elections.

Tshwane ward councillors

Photo: Supplied

The Inter -Ministerial Committee task team set up to probe the spate of political murders in KwaZulu-Natal will be further strengthened ahead of local government elections with additional resources Police Minister Bheki Cele announced at a media briefing in Durban on Wednesday.

Cele provided the media with an update regarding the work of the team and highlighted the progress it has made so far in several high profile political killing cases.

He gave a brief update of the cases as follows:

  • The murder case of former ANC ward councillor, Qashana Mchunu, gets underway in court on the  26July 2021. Seven suspects have been arrested, one suspect has been charged with his murder and four of the suspects will face charges of conspiracy to commit murder.
  • The murder case of former ANCYL Secretary General, Sindiso Magaqa, will also commence in court on 19July 2021.  The task team arrested eight suspects. Five of them have now been charged for his murder, one died and charges were withdrawn against two suspects.
  • A trial date has also been set down for the murder of ANCYL member, Wandile Ngobeni. Two suspects will appear in court to face charges of murder on 12 November 2021.
  • The alleged killers of IFP member, Sibuyiselo Phineas Dlamini, will also have their day in court, when the murder case gets underway on the 22November 2021.
  • The trial date of alleged killer of ANC Ward councilor, Sibusiso Maphumulo, has been set to start on the 2 May 2022.
  • The murder case of slain Executive Director of the Alfred Duma Municipality, Oscar Hlatshwayo,  gets underway on the 16  August 2021. Four suspects have been arrested for his murder.
  • The murder trial of slain Economic Freedom Fighters member, Sibusiso Mbhobo has been concluded. Four of his killers were handed down four life sentences each for his murder.
  • The murdered of NFP member, Derick Mthethwa, is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence.

“So far the IMC is happy with the progress made by the political task team. This progress is as a result of the integrated approach of the multi-disciplinary task team which has helped to improve the peace and stability in KwaZulu Natal. This Team remains in place and its capacity will be further strenghtened through added resources,” Cele said.

“Currently the province is relatively calm in respect of political killings we have seen a huge decrease in political murders.”

In 2016, there were 31 killings reported followed by the following statics in subsequent years:

  • 2017 – 20
  • 2018 – 12 
  • 2019 – 14 
  • 2020 – 14
  • 2021 –  04 

“The murder rate has dropped significantly , However, we are not in the clear yet, political intolerance through intimidation and extortion still remains a cause for concern, especially as we approach local government elections in the coming months. Interventions are in place to deal with this, proactively and reactively,” he said.