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Political Killings: Life Should Not Be This Cheap In South Africa

Regardless of political affiliation, Sindiso Magaqa was a human being first, and only then a politician. Someone has lost a son, brother and a husband.

07/09/2017 03:57 SAST | Updated 07/09/2017 06:21 SAST
Foto24/ Gallo Images/ Getty Images
Pule Mabe (L), Sindiso Magaqa (C) and Ronald Lamola (R).

Political killings of leadership contenders will become an incurable scar on the conscience of South Africa. The ruthlessness in South African politics has always really puzzled me because it is incomprehensible how such a vibrant democracy with so much to offer can sometimes be so self-destructive.

Analysts claim the recent killings of political leaders, particularly those in KwaZulu-Natal, are related to competition over positions. Life should not be this cheap in South Africa! These actions are robbing us of promising young leaders and it is upsetting to see that politics has dragged some individuals down to this level.

Our nation has lost another courageous young mind when former ANC Youth League [ANCYL] secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa tragically passed away this week after being shot by attackers in July during an ambush.

He paid the highest price after standing for what he believed in and for questioning corruption within his ward while serving as a councillor in Umzimkhulu, southern KwaZulu-Natal. Magaqa and two other ANC councillors were rushed to hospital on July 13 after they were shot in Umzimkhulu on their way back from an ANC meeting.

Apparently as they arrived at a bus stop, they were ambushed by unknown assailants who were armed with rifles. They sustained serious injuries after the suspects unleashed a hail of bullets on their car. He was only 35 years old when he died at the Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban on Monday 4 September 2017.

Regardless of your opinion or political affiliation, Sindiso Magaqa was a human being first, and only then a politician. Someone has lost a son, brother and a husband. In April, Harry Gwala ANC region deputy secretary and Umzimkhulu municipality speaker Khaya Thobela was shot dead.

A lot of people speculate that the cause of all this political violence is over infighting amongst party members.

In May, former Umzimkhulu councillor and branch leader Khaya Mgcwaba was gunned down. Later that month, Mduduzi Tshibase‚ a teacher and Umzimkhulu councillor was killed at his home in Umzimkhulu. I have closely been following opinions on social media.

A lot of people speculate that the cause of all this political violence is over infighting amongst party members. Government is blamed for not taking action fast enough, while others believe the factions within the ANC is so at odds that finding common ground will be a "miracle".

People will always have opposing views and ideas when it comes to politics. Not one person deserves to be ambushed out of life because of political differences or contestation. Politics is supposed to be a robust space, especially for our youth, to discuss issues, challenge views, and come up with solutions.

Taking another person's life because of political differences or the pursuit of power is futile and chips away at our democracy.

The old saying that: "When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled" rings so true in this situation. When parties and their members or leaders are in conflict, it doesn't only affect them, but it ultimately hurts the people.