Political assassinations in post-apartheid South Africa

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There have been a number of political assassinations in post-apartheid South Africa.[1][2] In 2013 it was reported that there had been more than 450 political assassinations in the province of KwaZulu-Natal since the end of apartheid in 1994.[3] In July 2013 the Daily Maverick reported that there had been "59 political murders in the last five years".[4] In August 2016 it was reported that there had been at least twenty political assassinations in the run up to the local government elections on the 3rd of August that year, most of them in KwaZulu-Natal.[5]

Political assassinations have often been ascribed to battles around patronage within the ruling African National Congress.[6][7][8][9][10][11] However, not all assassinations are a result of conflict within the ruling party. The National Freedom Party led by Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, with its base largely in KwaZulu-Natal, claims that 21 of its members have been killed since the party was founded in early 2011.[12] The Inkatha Freedom Party claims that ten of its elected representatives have been murdered.[13] In June 2013 Abahlali baseMjondolo, an autonomous shack dwellers' movement in Durban, claimed that the murder of Nkululeko Gwala, a local leader in the organisation, was a political assassination.[14][15] In May 2016 two ANC councillors were convicted of murder following the assassination of Thuli Ndlovu, also a local leader in Abahlali baseMjondolo .[16]

According to Raymond Suttner "assassinations have become a regularised way of deciding on leadership and access to wealth within the ANC and its allies".[17]

Location of assassinations[edit]

It has been argued that the situation is particularly bad in the provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal with KwaZulu-Natal being, by far, the worst.[10][18][19][20] KwaZulu-Natal has been described as the "epicenter of political violence"[21] while Mpumalanga has been described as "notorious for political assassinations"[22] Fourteen assassinations have been documented in Mpumalanga[23] and 450 in KwaZulu-Natal.[3] It has been reported that "Since the beginning of 2011, the murder of people with high political profiles has been confined almost exclusively to KwaZulu-Natal, with 27 in the province since February 2011.[23] According to the ANC 38 of its members have been assassinated in KwaZulu-Natal since the beginning of 2011.[24] It has been suggested that support for murders in the taxi industry in KwaZulu-Natal by leading figures in the ruling party legitimated the use of violence in the democratic era which then spilled over into the political sphere.[24][25][26]

Conviction rates and a possible 'licence to kill'[edit]

There has been one conviction in response to the fourteen assassinations in Mpumalanga and four in KwaZulu-Natal for forty two assassinations leading one researcher to conclude that some people are starting to believe there may be a "general licence for political killings" but that "this may only be available to people in certain political positions".[23]

List of politicians assassinated in post-Apartheid South Africa[edit]

  • Thomas Shabalala, IFP MP (and former warlord), Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 2005[27]
  • Thandi Mtsweni, Deputy Mayor, Secunda, Mpumalanga, 2007[28]
  • Rajah Naidoo, Independent councillor, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 2007[29]
  • Moss Phakoe, ANC councillor, Rustenburg, North West Province, 2009[10][30]
  • Caswell Maluleke, ANC Mayor Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, 2000[6]
  • Jimmy Mtolo, local ANC leader, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 2009[31]
  • Sthembiso Cele, chairperson of the ANC Youth League in Umgababa, KwaZulu-Natal, 2009[32]
  • Bongani Ngcobo, ANC leader, Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, 2009[33]
  • Jabulani Khumalo, ANC leader, Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, 2009[32]
  • Jimmy Mohlala, ANC leader, Mbombela, Mpumalanga, 2010[6]
  • James Nkambule, senior ANC politician, Mpumalanga, 2010[34]
  • Sammy Mpatlanyane, senior ANC politician, Mpumalanga, 2010[13]
  • John Ndlovu, ANC politician, Thulamasha, Mpumalanga, 2011[35]
  • S'bu Sibiya, ANC regional secretary, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 2011[36]
  • Wiseman Mshibe, ANC councillor, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 2011[36]
  • Wandile Mkhize, ANC chief whip, South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal, 2012[1][37]
  • Nhlakanipho Shabane, ANC member, South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal, 2012[34]
  • Dumisani Malunga, ANC member, South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal, 2012[38]
  • Bheki Chiliza, ANC member, South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal, 2012[39]
  • Mthembeni Shezi, ANC Councillor, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 2012[40]
  • David Mosiane Chika, ANC Leader, North West 2012[41]
  • S'bu Majola, ANC branch chairperson, Wembezi, Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, 2013[42]
  • Makhosonke Msibi, ANC Councillor, Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, 2013[43]
  • Siphumelelo Buthelezi, NFP Councillor, Ulundi, 3 November 2013[44]
  • Buyisile Mkavu, ANC Councillor, KwaLanga, Uitenhage, 4 August 2014[45]
  • Charles Thembisile Kanku, ANC ward councillor, Cape Town, 20 October 2014[46]

List of other political assassinations in post-Apartheid South Africa[edit]

  • Sinethemba Myeni, 12 April 2006, Umlazi, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (former SACP member supporting independent candidate in local government elections)[47]
  • Mazwi 'Komi' Zulu, 3 May 2006, Umlazi, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (former SACP member supporting independent candidate in local government elections)[47]
  • Scorpion Dimane, anti-mining activist, Mbizana, 2008[48]
  • Mbongeleni Zondi, traditional leader with close ties to Jacob Zuma and the ANC, Durban, 2009
  • Mthunzi Nkonki, MV veteran, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, 2010[49]
  • Bomber 'Radioman' Ntshangase, SACP leader, Mpumalanga, 2012[34][50]
  • Kevin Kunene, environmental rights activist, KwaMbonambi, 2012[51]
  • Dalivuyo Bongo, National Union of Mineworkers, Rustenburg, North West, 2012[52]
  • Thembinkosi Qumbelo, Local activist and ANC leader, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 2013[53]
  • Two unnamed members of Abahlali baseMjondolo, KwaNdengezi, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 2013[54]
  • Steve Khululekile, AMCU regional organiser, Rustenburg, North West, 2013[55]
  • Nkululeko Gwala, Abahlali baseMjondolo activist, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 2013[4][56][57]
  • Sthembiso Biyela & Buyisile Malusi, (Biyela was reported to have left the IFP to join the ANC) Durban, 2014[58]
  • Njabulo Ndebele, Sibonelo “John-John” Ntuli and Ntobeko Maphumulo, NUMSA leaders, Isithebe, KwaZulu-Natal, August 2014[59]
  • Thuli Ndlovu, Abahlali baseMjondolo leader, KwaNdengezi, Durban, 2014[60]
  • Charles Khanku, SANCO leader, Cape Town[61]
  • Mobeni Khwela, Local SACP activist, KwaNdengezi, Durban, 2014[62]
  • Mbuyiselo Phajana Mnguni, Free State regional chairperson of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union, 2014[63]
  • Chris Nkosi, Gauteng secretary of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, Germiston, 2015[64]
  • Philip Dlamini & another unnamed man, SACP members, Durban, 2015[65]
  • Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe, Chairperson of the chairman of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, Mbizana, Eastern Cape, 2016[66]
  • Nontsikelelo Blose, SACP activist, KwaZulu-Natal, 2016[67]
  • Mthunzi ‘Ras’ Zuma, Cape Town, 2017[68]

List of assassinations of government officials in post-Apartheid South Africa[edit]

  • Noby Ngombane, Head of the Free State government's policy monitoring and evaluation unit, Bloemfontein, Free State, 2005[34]
  • Sammy Mpatlanyane, spokesman for the Mpumalanga department of culture, sport and recreation, Nelspruit, 2010[69]
  • Oupa Matlaba, City Power, Johannesburg, 2011[70]
  • Andile Matshaya, Internal Auditor, Department of Transport, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, 2012[71]
  • Lawrence Moepi, Forensic Auditor at a private firm contracted to the Public Protector's Office, Johannesburg, 2013[72]
  • Moses Tshake, Head Auditor, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Free State, 2013[73]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b ANC: A party under violent, criminal siege, Paul Trewhela, Mail & Guardian, 4 August 2012
  2. ^ Quintal, Genevieve (29 July 2012). Political Murders – It's About the Dough, SAPA,
  3. ^ a b A Provincial Concern? Political Killings in South Africa, David Bruce, SA Crime Quarterly 2013
  4. ^ a b KZN: Anatomy of an assassination, Niki Moore, Daily Maverick, 31 July 2013
  5. ^ Local Government Elections 2016', Data Journalism Academy, August 2016
  6. ^ a b c The ANC's provincial criminal enterprises problem, by Sipho Hlongwane, The Daily Maverick, 23 July 2012
  7. ^ Power, money and the ANC: There will be blood, Mandy de Waal, The Daily Maverick, 23 January 2012
  8. ^ Why Are Political Killings Increasing in South Africa?, James Bullock, Think Africa Press, 21 October 2013
  9. ^ Murder takes party infighting to new level, Setumo Stone, Business Day, 20 July 2012
  10. ^ a b c A Culture of Political Assassination, Jane Duncan, SACSIS, 2010
  11. ^ Murder, Lies and Corruption: Mbombela and the Bequeathal of the ANC's 'Family' War, Dale T. McKinely, 9 September 2011
  12. ^ Another NFP member killed, SAPA, IOL, 18 July 2012
  13. ^ a b Quintal, Genevieve (29 July 2012). Political Murders – It's About the Dough, SAPA
  14. ^ KZN protest leader shot 12 times, Nkululeko Nene, Daily News, 27 June 2013
  15. ^ KZN: Anatomy of an assassination, Niki Moore, Daily Maverick, 31 July 2013
  16. ^ ANC councillors jailed for activist’s murder, Giordano Stolley, Independent Online, 20 May 2016
  17. ^ Government and tripartite alliance ‘no pitch’ at Marikana memorial, 18 August 2013
  18. ^ Hlongwane, Sipho (23 July 2012). The ANC's provincial criminal enterprises problem, The Daily Maverick
  19. ^ Analysis: Meanwhile, on the killing fields of KZN, Mandy de Waal, Daily Maverick, 15 November 2012
  20. ^ Can the ANC rein in grass-roots coercion?, David Bruce, Mail & Guardian, 20 September 2013
  21. ^ SA cannot flourish in violent culture, by Imraan Buccus, The Mercury, 5 April 2013
  22. ^ Two suspects released in Mpumalanga political assassination case, Sizwe Sama Yende, City Press, 2011
  23. ^ a b c Bruce, David (7 October 2012)
  24. ^ a b Wheels of justice turn slowly as political killings escalate, David Bruce, Mail & Guardian, 26 October 2012
  25. ^ Sanctioned taxi violence poisons KwaZulu-Natal, Niren Tolsi, Mail & Guardian, 19 October 2012
  26. ^ Political killings in South Africa: The ultimate intimidation, David Bruce, Institute for Security Studies, 2014
  27. ^ Life and times of a tyrant, Paddy Harper, Sunday Times, 2005
  28. ^ Quintal, Genevieve (29 July 2012). South Africa: Timeline of Reported Political Killings From 2007–2012, All Africa
  29. ^ Slain councillor was surrounded by dispute, Karishma Ganpath,, IOL, 2007
  30. ^ Moss Phakoe’s spirit must galvanise us, Zwelinzima Vavi, City Press', 22 July 2012
  31. ^ Cops hunt for killer of Sanco man, Canaan Mdletshe, Sowetan, 2009
  32. ^ a b Timeline of Reported Political Killings From 2007–2012, Quintal, Genevieve SAPA, 29 July 2012
  33. ^ Quintal, Genevieve (29 July 2012). Timeline of Reported Political Killings From 2007–2012, SAPA
  34. ^ a b c d Murders rock ANC, Paddy Harper, Mmanaledi Mataboge and Sizwe sama Yende, City Press, 29 July 2012
  35. ^ "Two suspects released in Mpumalanga political assassination case", Sizwe Sama Yende, City Press, 2011
  36. ^ a b Three arrested for the murder of eThekwini councillor, City Press, 2011
  37. ^ Darkness visible in JZ's kingdom by the sea, Niren Tolsi, Mail & Guardian, 20 July 2012
  38. ^ More ANC leaders gunned down in KZN, SABC, 10 September 2012
  39. ^ More ANC leaders gunned down in KZN, SABC, 10 September 2012]
  40. ^ Mthembeni Shezi dies of his wounds, ANC KZN, 27 September 2012
  41. ^ Murder before Mangaung, by Xolani Mbanjwa, City Press, 16 December 2012
  42. ^ Wembezi mob barricades road after ‘political’ killing, Daily News, 12 March 2013
  43. ^ ANC councillor shot dead in KZN, SAPA, 12 August 2013
  44. ^ NFP leader shot and killed in Ulundi BY NCE MKHIZE, Business Day, NOVEMBER 05 2013
  45. ^ Murdered councillor a ‘hero’, Lubabalo Ngcukana, City Press, 10 August 2014
  46. ^ TWEET OF THE WEEK: A culture of political violence and death BY GARETH VAN ONSELEN, Business Day 05 DECEMBER 2014
  47. ^ a b Umlazi Political Violence, Press Statement, 2006
  48. ^ 'We Don't Want Your Development', Jacques de Wet, in Rural Resistance in South Africa, Thembele Kepe & Lungisile Ntsebeza (Eds), UCT Press, 2012
  49. ^ A Culture of Political Assassination, Jane Duncan, SACSIS, 2010
  50. ^ Is the SACP still relevant?, Jeremy Cronin, The Times, 31 July 2012
  51. ^ Amnesty International South Africa Report, 2013
  52. ^ NUM branch secretary shot dead at Westplats mine, SABC, 6 October 2012
  53. ^ Cato Crest community leader gunned down, By NKULULEKO NENE, Daily News, 18 March 2013
  54. ^ Murder in KwaNdengezi, Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement, 2013
  55. ^ Another Marikana murder, NIVASHNI NAIR, The Times, 13 May 2013
  56. ^ KZN protest leader shot 12 times, Nkululeko Nene, Daily News, 27 June 2013
  57. ^ Africa: Killed for crying foul, by Andrew England, Financial Times, 26 August 2013
  58. ^ Political intolerance behind KZN murders, Sihle Mahanda, The Mercury, 1 April 2014
  59. ^ Numsa condemns killing of its three shopstewards in Kwazulu – Natal
  60. ^ Another Abahlali baseMjondolo member assassinated, Daneel Knoetze, GroundUp, 1 October 2014
  61. ^ Lili ‘hit’ exposes ANC cracks, Warda Mayer, Cape Argus, 2014
  62. ^ Ziyanda izigameko zokubulawa kwabantu kwaNdengezi KZN Eyethu, 2014
  63. ^ TWEET OF THE WEEK: A culture of political violence and death BY GARETH VAN ONSELEN, Business Day 05 DECEMBER 2014
  64. ^ Union leader gunned down in Germiston, Shanti Aboobaker, IOL, 14 April 2015
  65. ^ Inchanga shooting: call for calm, MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA, Daily News, 27 January 2016
  66. ^ Opponent of Xolobeni titanium mine assassinated, GroundUp, 23 March 2016
  67. ^ Protests in Inchanga after ‘execution-style’ killing of SACP member, Nathi Oilifant, Times `Live, 22 August 2016
  68. ^ [Community leader shot dead after massive Khayelitsha land occupation http://abahlali.org/node/16007/], Thembela Ntongana, GroundUp, 1 June 2017
  69. ^ Quintal, Genevieve South Africa: Timeline of Reported Political Killings From 2007–2012, All Africa, 29 July 2012
  70. ^ Death of City Power procurement specialist silences staff members, CHARLES MOLELE, Mail & Guardian, 8 February 2013
  71. ^ Freedom is a killer, Njabulu S. Ndebele, City Press, 29 July 2012
  72. ^ Moepi's killing a hit:Cosatu, The Times, 21 October 2013
  73. ^ Who Killed Moses Tshake?, GroundUp, Mandy de Waal and Jon Pienaar, 1 April 2014