Killing of councillors can destabilise democracy‚ warns Parks Tau

12 October 2017 - 16:52 By Penwell Dlamini
The mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau
The mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau
Image: The Times

President of the SA Local Government Association (Salga) Parks Tau has warned that the intimidation and killing of municipal councillors could destabilise democracy if it is not dealt with.

Tau‚ the previous mayor of Johannesburg‚ said over the past years the violence against councillors had been escalating and was increasingly becoming gender biased. He said those behind the violence seemed to target women.

“We think that it is a matter that should receive attention from all spheres of government to make sure that [councillors] are able to do the work they are assigned to do‚ which is primarily to represent people in council. This is a matter that requires attention if we are to protect democracy‚” Tau said.

He added that the killing and intimidation of councillors could destabilise institutions and government.

Tau was speaking at the launch of a Salga report on the killing and intimidation of councillors held on Thursday in Sandton.

The killing of councillors has been a topical issue in local government‚ especially in KwaZulu-Natal. The study commissioned by Salga showed that a total of 43 councillors were killed between 2011 and 2016. The highest number of killings were in KwaZulu-Natal with 22 murders.