'Hit list' renews KZN fears
Political killings are continuing in KwaZulu- Natal despite the appointment of a crack police team to investigate them.
ANC Umtshezi municipality ward councillor Jimmy Lembede was killed at his house and yesterday two councillors from the National Freedom Party (NFP) went into hiding after hearing that their names were on a hit list.
A third NFP councillor, who claims that he too is on the hit list, is refusing to go into hiding.
Last week, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced that two senior generals had been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal to curb the killings.
At the time, Mthethwa said that the deployment of Major-General Vinesh Moonoo and Major-General Chris Ngcobo would ensure that the investigating team "doesn't end up only apprehending people but secures convictions".
Yesterday, Abaqulusi municipality councillors Nompumelelo Ndlela and Sakha Siyaya confirmed that they had been in hiding since hearing rumours of a plot to kill them.
"I am in hiding and I have been since Thursday last week," said Ndlela.
"I did attend a meeting in the municipality today [yesterday] but soon after I went back into hiding."
Bheki Dlamini, an official in the eDumbe municipality, said that he had heard that there were as many as 18 NFP councillors' names on the hit list.
"What is disappointing is that the leadership is aware of the so-called hit list but they have not even contacted us to allay our fears or offer support," he said.
Dlamini, a former member of the defence force, said that though the possibility that he was the target of assassins made him anxious, he would not run scared because he had a family to protect and support.
The NFP has been the hardest hit by the spate political killings.
Since its formation just before last year's local government elections, with members breaking away from the Inkatha Freedom Party, the NFP has lost 24 members through what appear to be politically motivated killings.
The NFP's national organiser, Bonga Nzuza, yesterday said that the party's leadership was not aware of a plot to kill the three members.
Mthethwa announced national intervention to stop the political killings a week ago.
Mthethwa's spokes-man, Zweli Mnisi, yesterday said that one of the most pressing resolutions that emerged from the police minister's meeting with provincial commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni and political organisations in the province was that the police should keep the family members of the slain politicians aware of the progress of the investigations .
He said the police believed that the politically motivated killings would be curtailed.
THOSE KILLED SO FAR
- ANC councillor Magutshwa - 2008
- IFP councillor Mduduzi Maphumulo - 2009
- ANC member Daluvuyo Hadebe - 2010
- IFP councillor Sibongiseni Shange - 2010
- ANC's Sthembele Dali - 2010
- ANC member Khuzwayo - 2010
- Former IFP councillor Duma, then a member of New Freedom Party - 2011
- ANC's Wiseman Mshibe - 2011
- NFP member Dube - 2011
- IFP's Simon Dingindawo Shange - 2011
- ANC's S'bu Sibiya - 2011
- IFP's Mthembeni Majola - 2010
- NFP's Induna Titus Mthembu - 2011
- ANC member Ngcobo - 2011
- NFP member Michael Mfaniseni Mtshali - 2011
- IFP's Induna Khende Magubane - 2011
- ANC member Vukani Zuma - 2011
- IFP member Jabulani Ngubane - 2012
- ANC members Sakhephi Mthembu and Mandla Shinga - 2012
- ANC members Wandile Mkhize and Nhlakanipho Shabane - 2012
- NFP councillor Shelembe - 2012
- NFP member Nhlebela - 2012
- NFP's Induna Mpipiza Ncube - 2012.
- NFP member Mthunzi Gwala - 2012
- NFP member Thamsanqa Richman Mnyango - 2012
- ANC member Jimmy Lembede - 2012