AGE OF THE ASSASSIN OP-ED: ‘The underworld runs the ANC’ — assassinations analysis shows stark reality of violence in KZN

2022/06/27 22:55:00

KwaZulu-Natal stands out among South Africa’s provinces for having the greatest frequency of politically linked assassinations.

KwaZulu-Natal stands out among South Africa’s provinces for having the greatest frequency of politically linked assassinations.

KwaZulu-Natal stands out among South Africa’s provinces for having the greatest frequency of politically linked assassinations.

Through an analysis of public and media reporting from 2000–2021, we have compiled a database of 1,971 assassination cases in South Africa. These have been broken down into four categories: political motivation, organised crime, hits taken out to settle personal feuds, and hits relating to the taxi industry. Assassinations reached an all-time high in 2018 and have increased significantly since 2000 overall.

Assassinations-in-South-Africa-by-year-2000-2021Almost half (49%) of assassinations take place at the victim’s home, often when leaving for work or arriving home. The killing ofFor three of the last six years recorded in the GI-TOC’s assassinations database, politically linked assassinations in KZN were as high, or higher, than all South Africa’s other provinces combined.

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Data collected by the Global Initiative on Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) since 2000 shows a marked increase in the number of assassinations, especially since 2015.Two-week-old baby Zanokuhle Mthembu, two-year-old Onge Mthembu, nine-year-olds Anathi Mthembu and Noluthando Mthembu, and their mother, Bongekile Mthembu, 37, were killed when their home in KwaNhlalwane Village caught fire on Saturday evening, according to the social development department..On Friday, Mchunu visited the district where he was accompanied by his deputy minister, David Mahlobo and KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala.

Of the 418 political hits recorded nationwide between 2000 and 2021, 213 took place in the last seven years, and of that number, 118 were in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Observers warn that violence and intimidation are warping the political landscape of the region, allowing strongman politics to flourish. They were later transferred to hospital, where Onge succumbed to his injuries," department spokesperson Mhlaba Memela said on Monday. “People are terrified”, said veteran activist and violence monitor Mary de Haas. “It is layer upon layer of violence that involves thugs, mafia, drug dealers, corrupt politicians and taxi hitmen… In KZN, might is right. He said department and municipal officials were"on the ground trying to help the traumatised family and neighbours". The bullies hold sway and it is getting worse. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed.

” National picture of assassinations in South Africa Through an analysis of public and media reporting from 2000–2021, we have compiled a database of 1,971 assassination cases in South Africa." KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza are expected to visit the family on Tuesday. These have been broken down into four categories: political motivation, organised crime, hits taken out to settle personal feuds, and hits relating to the taxi industry. Assassinations reached an all-time high in 2018 and have increased significantly since 2000 overall. to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox. Taxi industry-related incidents were given their own category as the South African taxi industry is uniquely violent, with feuds between taxi associations and disputes over who controls routes regularly spilling over into violence. This is reflected in the : 46% of all assassinations recorded were related to the taxi industry, 22% of the hits were linked to organised crime, 21% were politically motivated and 11% were personal. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features.

Assassinations-in-South-Africa-by-year-2000-2021 The overwhelming majority of assassinations (98%) were carried out using firearms, reflecting the widespread availability of illicit firearms and those diverted from legitimate sources such as the police force and private security companies. South Africa’s hitmen are brutally effective — 87% of recorded assassination attempts resulted in the death of the victim, not forgetting that some incidents also result in bystanders being caught in the crossfire. Invest in the future today. Almost half (49%) of assassinations take place at the victim’s home, often when leaving for work or arriving home. The killing of in 2018 is a typical case. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. Maphumulo was a ward councillor in Umlazi, KZN, and was shot several times as he arrived home from a meeting.

Kwazulu-Natal: The violence hotspot For three of the last six years recorded in the GI-TOC’s assassinations database, politically linked assassinations in KZN were as high, or higher, than all South Africa’s other provinces combined. Trends-in-political-assassinations-in-South-Africa-2015-2021. KZN also scored high in other categories. Of the 521 taxi killings recorded nationally since 2015, 173 were in KZN. This was followed by 129 in Gauteng, though there are strong links between the two provinces in terms of taxi associations, which have business in both areas and control over long-distance taxi routes.

The KZN figures for organised crime hits are also the highest of all the provinces, at 58 of 202 total since 2015. For Xubera Institute political analyst Xolani Dube, KZN’s political, taxi and organised crime hits are inextricably linked: “The underworld runs the ANC,” said Dube. “KZN is submerged in underworld killings that bear the hallmark of mafias. People who dispense patronage through councillors, mayors and ministers are gangsters, mainly involved with the taxi industry. And there is a convergence with private security companies that protect politicians and who run the construction industry.

You can’t divorce these elements.” ‘Construction mafias’ — linked to the ANC’s Radical Economic Transformation (RET) faction, in which former president Jacob Zuma was a key figure — have become notorious for extorting major construction projects in KZN, with heavily armed men threatening violence and demanding large fees (usually 30% of the total value of the project) in return for allowing work to proceed. In 2019, Webster Mfebe, CEO of the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, said that armed gangs had forced the abandonment of 84 infrastructure projects in South Africa worth more than R27-billion in total. The Moerane Commission of Inquiry visits the Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi to assess and gather evidence on political killings around KwaZulu-Natal on July 21, 2017 in Durban, South Africa. Members of the commission visited the hostel after it was heard that more than 80 people were killed but no one has been arrested.

The murders blamed on politics, power, financial enrichment, and criminality. (Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Siyanda Mayeza) According to Dube, the murder of at least nine ANC members in KZN — whether councillors or party officials — since September last year speaks to the intensity of conflict within the party. Murders, he said, are often directly related to the outcome of state tenders or internal ANC elections: “There is a lot of money flowing in [the] ANC and people entrusted with dispensing that are vulnerable, especially in a party that is indistinguishable from gangsters and taxi bosses who control contract killers.” Both Dube and De Haas agreed that the intersection of politics and violence has wider implications for policing and the rule of law in KZN. De Haas argued that shambolic investigations and corruption have “a devastating impact on the morale of good cops.

Even they are scared. You cannot have democracy while people live in terror.” Assassinations-in-South-Africa-per-province-2015-2021 Dube also pointed to increased drug-related violence in the province as evidence that police cannot ensure the rule of law in the region. In January 2022, four people were killed in a shooting in KwaMakhutha, with a further eight people shot dead in Richmond and six in Inanda. Police suspect all three incidents were .

Beyond assassinations: How patronage and intimidation shape KZN’s political landscape For many observers, the politics of KZN have become characterised by intimidation and patronage. In April 2022, former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede was elected as the region’s ANC chairperson. Gumede is an ally of former president Jacob Zuma — whose supporters are rallying against a second term for current ANC and country president Cyril Ramaphosa — and is seen as a key figure in the RET faction. Gumede faces a raft of corruption charges relating to an irregular municipal waste tender worth R320-million that was awarded in 2017. The charges include theft, money laundering, fraud, corruption, and racketeering.

Gumede and her 21 co-accused will face a total of 2,793 charges , including contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca). At Gumede’s election, S’bu Zikode, president of the shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, summed up the view of many ANC critics of Gumede: “She puts the party before the country […]. What does this say about the people who voted her in, given the serious charges she faces? When she was mayor the city was characterised by high levels of gangsterism, violence and corruption, not to mention service delivery failures.” Gumede’s reign as mayor earned her the moniker “Iron Lady of Inanda”, with the rise of mafia-like .