THE KILLING FIELDS OF KZN: Political assassins killing for contracts & Municipal funds transferred at gunpoint…

KwaZulu-Natal is also known as “The Killing Fields” of South Africa. That is because of the high number of political murders in that province where scores of councillors and officials have been murdered. BizNews speaks to Arise SA President Mpho Dagada, who has just been there to investigate. He describes how councillors trying to protect municipalities are targeted and killed if they try and stop contracts being awarded to criminal syndicates; and how people go into municipal offices with guns to order the transfer of funds. The majority of the councillors murdered are from the African National Congress (ANC). Dagada says that is because there is a “culture of criminality” in the ruling party. Dagada calls on business- and community leaders to join the fight for “the soul of our country”. – Chris Steyn

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Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:00 – introduction
  • 00:25 – What he discovered during his visit
  • 01:26 – What is the main reason for these killings
  • 02:42 – Which parties are most affected
  • 04:36 – What can be done to stop this
  • 05:55 – How welcome did he feel in KwaZulu-Natal
  • 08:26 – On service delivery
  • 09:25 – Which province next for Arise SA
  • 09:44 – Conclusions

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Excerpts from the Interview

KwaZulu-Natal is also known as “The Killing Fields” of South Africa.

That is because of the high number of political murders in that province where scores of councillors and municipal officials have been murdered.

BizNews speaks to Arise SA President Mpho Dagada, who has just been there to investigate.

“…the criminality comes from the fact that people actually are greedy and they want to loot the State and get money out of the State. What usually happens is most of these people or most of these councillors are usually trying to protect the municipality, they’re trying to protect our government and in them doing that, they are targeted and actually killed. 

“So what usually really happens is you find that there’s a person who wants to get a contract or a tender from that municipality or that specific government. And what they do is they literally threaten the person in power, the person who is the councillor or the person working for that municipality to say, if you don’t give us or me this contract, we will kill you. 

“And what they do to show that they’re serious, they ensure that they kill that person and they make it known that if they don’t get that contract, they will kill anybody who has any reason for stopping them from not getting the contract.

“So you find that contracts that are supposed to be giving people services are not going to those right people who can actually deliver on those services, but are going to these criminal syndicates that continue to threaten, kill, and assassinate politicians for not giving them these jobs.”

As to which political parties are most affected, Dagada says:  “So when we look into it, what we’re finding is that when it comes to the parties, obviously the ANC (African National Congress) stands as accused number one. They have had over 31 councillors that were killed. We’ve also got the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) with 14 councillors and NFP (National Freedom Party) with four councillors. Those are really the big ones, the big numbers there.”

Commenting on the reason for this, Dagada says: “And really what we’re seeing is that the reason why the ANC is the biggest or a lot of their councillors are getting killed is because there is a culture in the ANC of criminality, literally starting with the President where people are saying when a president is caught with funds that cannot be justified to explain…that level of corruption…we find that throughout the whole ANC that thread rides out – and even in KwaZulu-Natal as these killings are happening, most of these people find that this is the way things are done in the ANC. 

“You know, we had Thabo Mbeki who literally said that he found in his term as a President of the ANC and a president of the country, he said he found in his terms that in areas like Newcastle, they were literally funds moving from the municipality to actually people who kill…Inkabi (hitman), these assassinators, these people that actually kill these politicians, that funds were leaving municipality into their accounts. 

“And when we looked deeper into the matter, we actually found out that these are people who go into these municipality offices with guns. And they literally get there and say, we want funds to be transferred and no one will investigate this. And people that work for that municipality, in fear because they’ve seen their colleagues lose their life, they transfer funds from municipal accounts into accounts of these criminals because they fear for their lives.”

Asked how these killings-for-loot can be stopped, Dagada says:  “We have started as Arise South Africa, as a political party, and we’re calling upon business leaders. We’re calling on community leaders to say come on board join us in this fight because it is a fight – and it is a war for the soul of our country and we need as many people on board to come and assist us in fighting this fight daily.

“Because when we just stand back and relax, we see that criminals come in and they have a free-for-all because there is no voice of reason in those environments.”

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