Political killings threaten our fragile democracy
The Times Editorial: The political killings that have engulfed KwaZulu-Natal could spill over into other provinces, especially Gauteng. Yesterday, there was another brazen political killing, this one outside the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court, north of Durban.
One of our reporters, who was outside the court interviewing a member of the National Freedom Party, saw an IFP supporter being shot and killed.
It is particularly shocking that the killing took place outside court in full view of many people, including the police.
In the past few months there have been several political hits and the government has deployed special police teams to try to stop the killings.
KwaZulu-Natal has been on this road before. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, hundreds of people were killed when the ANC and the IFP fought for political dominance and the instability spread to some parts of Gauteng.
It took bold leadership on both sides for peace to be restored.
One would have thought that, with such a violent history, political parties in KwaZulu-Natal would act to prevent their constituents being dragged back to having to endure death and destruction.
We thought, with the advent of democracy, that we had buried political intolerance.
But the recent political killings are evidence that more needs to be done.
The breaking away of the National Freedom Party from the IFP added another dimension to the picture.
Though the police have made arrests in connection with some of the killings, the reality is that fighting over control of state resources and political dominance continues.
President Jacob Zuma, who played a key role in bringing about peace in KwaZulu-Natal more than two decades ago, should again roll up his sleeves and put a stop to the killings. Failure by Zuma and other leaders to do so might plunge South Africa into another senseless blood bath.