The KwaZulu-Natal government should establish a commission of inquiry into what appeared to be politically-motivated murders, the party in the province said on Tuesday.
“The killings appear to be a deliberate and well-orchestrated campaign to cull the party’s candidates for councillors ahead of the upcoming local government elections,” provincial ANC spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said.
Two of its members were shot dead hours apart on Monday.
Bongani Skhosana, a Ward 1 candidate in the Umziwabantu municipality, in the Lower South Coast region, was killed in front of his children in his car as he was about to take them to school.
Khanyisile Sibisi, 41, was shot in the afternoon while on her way to donate goods at a Mandela Day event in Ladysmith.
12 ANC members killed recently
The Mercury newspaper reported that the latest killings brought the total number of ANC members killed recently to 12: four in Pietermaritzburg, two in Newcastle, and the rest in other parts of the province.
Thembi Mbongo‚ 35‚ a candidate for Ward 6, outside Osizweni, near Newcastle, was shot dead in front of her husband and children on July 2. Her killers knocked at the door of her home and asked to speak to her.
On June 8, ANC members Badedile Tshapha, 54, and Phetheni Ngubane, 50, were shot while making their way home from a branch general meeting in Imbali, Pietermaritzburg.
In the week before that, former Mpofana municipality chief financial officer Simo Mncwabe was killed in Edendale while taking his children to school. ANC Edenale branch chairperson, Nathi Hlongwa, was also shot dead in Mbali township.
Ntuli said other ANC candidates had received death threats. All the killings appeared to have been executed by well-trained operatives whose re-emergence in KwaZulu-Natal was reminiscent of the political violence of the 1980s and 1990s.
He said the killings risked plunging the province into instability ahead of the elections.
Provincial secretary Super Zuma said the party was concerned about the slow progress in apprehending the perpetrators.
Ongoing conflicts within the ANC
He called on Premier Willies Mchunu to consider establishing an inquiry into these killings. He called for a meeting with the provincial and national ministers of safety and security to deal with the killings.
The murders would not help attempts to create economic growth and sustainable development, Zuma said.
The Inkatha Freedom Party’s national chairperson Blessed Gwala said the killings were jeopardising holding free and fair elections. He said they were due to ongoing conflicts within the ANC.
He said all political parties had signed pledges committing themselves to a peaceful election. These however appeared to be merely ink on paper to party supporters, he said. – News24