KZN political killings are mainly within ANC alliance structures – SACP
21 September 2017
Durban – The SA Communist Party in KwaZulu-Natal came out guns blazing at the Moerane Commission on Thursday, conceding that political killings were largely within its alliance structures.
"The political killings continue in KZN and are now largely within the alliance structures… political killings have intensified within the alliance during the post-Polokwane period and [before and after] the 2015 local government elections," SACP secretary Themba Mthembu said.
Mthembu, together with SACP chairperson and former eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo, made the submissions in Mayville, Durban, at the commission that is investigating the high number of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal since 2011.
According to Mthembu, the current political killings were largely focused on local government representatives. He said tensions arose after unfair processes in the selection of councillor candidates and their deployments to municipalities.
He added that competition for tenders and manipulation of the monopolisation of the tender system could also be linked to political killings within communities.
Mthembu went on to highlight power struggles that led to killings.
"There have been many links of the political killings to power contestation within political organisations. It must be said that this is the most problematic type of killing, particularly on the crime prevention side."
He said killings due to power struggles also revealed "either collusion or omission of the police in solving these types of killings".
eThekwini Region – the power stronghold
Mthembu highlighted the killing of eThekwini ANC regional stalwarts, including Sbu Sibiya who was killed in 2011 and John Mchunu who was killed in 2010, saying their deaths had paved the way for new leaders in the area.
"These killings of eThekwini leaders were seen as part of a grand plan in preparation of [a] political takeover of [the] metro."
Mthembu said the political takeover was perceived to be influenced by financial interests and national politics.
"The belief among many structures on the ground is that any faction that leads eThekwini metro is also likely to have a big influence on the national politics or national leadership."
He said that the massive R40bn budget for eThekwini also played a major factor in factional power struggles.
"These killings [of Sibiya and Mchunu] were seen as a precursor to a real build-up towards a fierce contestation of the eThekwini region."
Mthembu said that the eThekwini power struggle could help in understanding the national power struggle within the ANC.
"Divorcing these battles and power dynamics from the ongoing political killings would be naïve."
Current eThekwini regional secretary Bheki Ntuli said that many "dark forces" were looking to loot the municipality.
"However, we are against this. Our current leadership also backed Sbu Sibiya, and dark forces that wanted control took him out. He was a man who stood against corruption and was unrelenting."
KZN Premier Willies Mchunu established the commission in October 2016, chaired by advocate Marumo Moerane, to investigate the high number of political killings in the province since 2011.