NEWS
07/06/2018 06:54 SAST | Updated 07/06/2018 06:54 SAST

'It's Only A Matter Of Time Before Political Killings Target High-Profile Politicians' - Report

The killings have mostly been at local government level for now, but a new report says this is likely to change.

Thuli Dlamini/Sunday Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images
The funeral service of slain former Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa on September 16, 2017 in Umzimkulu, South Africa. Magaqa died in a Durban hospital two months after being shot multiple times.

It's only a matter of time before a senior politician or civil servant is killed in a political assassination, the Centre for Risk Analysis says. According to Times Select, the centre says political killings have been allowed to go on for so long, with government's response to them "lethargical", that high-profile deaths are around the corner.

"If these phenomena reach the upper echelons of power and administration, the decline of the South African condition will have reached its terminus. Poor service delivery, corruption and the mismanagement of such things as education and the economy all pale in the face of the ultimate assault on freedom: the termination of life itself."

The report's author, Gareth van Onselen, reportedly says the killings are sometimes driven by violence in the taxi industry, and often are located in the politics of the ANC.

A recent study by research group, Assassination Witness, comprising researchers and the University of Cape Town's criminology department, said there had been an increase in assassinations in general over the last 17 years.

Of these, those that are political in nature are often intended to destabilise local politics. But the researchers found that these were often not intended to remove elected local governments, but were mostly thanks to intra-party factionalism.

This week, local government minister Zweli Mkhize said there was a link between political killings and the collapse of municipalities.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), he previously said only 7 percent of municipalities are functioning properly.

A high-profile interministerial task team comprising security cluster ministers is investigating the problem. According to TimesLive, the team said in May that part of the problem was the reluctance of witnesses to come forward and the intimidation of witnesses.