2016 political violence in South Africa

FILE: Police Minister Nathi Nhleko on Wednesday 27 July 2016 held a media conference on political killings ahead of local government elections. Photo: AFP / Stringer

*For your full guide to the 2016 Municipal Elections click here 

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko says more than 20 politically motivated criminal cases, including murder, have been reported since January this year.

“To date we had 25 politically related violent incidents that have been reported with the South African Police Service. Fourteen of those cases  are murder and attempted murder cases, two of those cases of arson, two relate to public violence cases, two others relate to assault and firing of a firearm and one case relates to damage to property and one case relates to culpable homicide,” said Nhleko.

The minister, flanked by Acting Police Commissioner General Khomotso Phahlane and Hawks head Major General Berning Ntlemeza, held a media briefing in Cape Town to report back on political killings in the country - exactly a week before the 2016 Municipal Elections.

Nhleko said a national task team set up to investigate political killings is continuing with its work.

The team comprises of seven detectives, five crime intelligence officers, four members from the Hawks and 11 members from the taxi violence task team.

He said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is also working closely with the team.

“In-terms of processing and fast tracking these particular cases and there is a particular team of prosecutors that are going to be focused specifically around these matters,” said Nhleko.

The minister said KwaZulu Natal has the highest number of politically motivated incidents while four other provinces are on the list.

According to the minister, these are the cases currently before police:

Gauteng

One case reported on 19 June at Pretoria show-grounds when there was an ANC media briefing regarding the mayoral candidate. One suspect was arrested and has been released on bail. The case will be back in court on 11 August 2016.

North West

One case of murder was reported on 18 March in Maboloka and the matter is still under investigation. No arrests have been made.

Eastern Cape

One case of murder was reported in Tsolo after a shooting incident.  Six suspects were arrested and the case has been remanded to 24 September 2016 for further investigations.

Mpumalanga

One case of murder has been registered at Del Mar police station.

KwaZulu Natal

1. In Imbali township, outside Pietermaritzburg, a case of double murder was reported after  an ANC branch general meeting, two members were shot and killed. Three suspects were arrested, two of them were successfully linked to the murders but one suspect could not be linked. The case will be back in court on 23 August 2016.

2. In area of Inchanga on 24 January 2016 a case of murder and attempted murder was reported after a physical confrontation between South African Communist Party (SACP) members and African National Congress (ANC) members in the area. Seven suspects were arrested and the case was before court 22 July 2016.  Investigations continue.

3. A case of attempted murder in the area of Osizweni, in New Castle, has been opened after a conflict was reported at a local primary school where there was a meeting of the ANC. Once suspect arrested and the case was heard on 22 July 2016 further investigations are continuing.

4. Montclair, outside of Durban, at a hostel there was a case of possession of unlicensed fire arm and the matter was heard in court on 27 July 2016.

5. Another case in Montclair at SJ Smith hostel of possession of AK7 assault rifle and live ammunition. The case also being heard on 27 July 2016

6. Mountain Rise, north of Pietermaritzburg, a case of public violence was registered on 24 April 2016.  Protesters burnt a councillor’s office and her house.

7. In Inchanga, a matter of assault, grievous bodily harm and pointing of gun was reported 31 May 2016. It is alleged that one SACP member was attacked by three people who are said to be affiliated to the ANC. He was hit with a brick and threatened with a fire arm. Three suspects have been arrested.

8. In Umlazi, outside Durban, a case of murder was reported on 16 April 2016 at a hostel. No arrests have been made and investigations continue.

9. In Sundumbili, a case of damage to property was reported and investigations continue.

10. In Umhlali, outside Durban, case of arson was opened on 7 June as well as damage to property after an unknown suspect bombed a house of a councillor. Investigations continue.

11. In Harding, South Coast, a case of assault and grievous bodily harm  was opened on 10 May 2016 where it is alleged two groups of the ANC that were conducting door to door campaign and a fight broke out amongst members. Cases of assault have been reported.

12. In Nongoma, a case of murder was reported on 16 May 2016 after a councillor was shot by two unknown attackers. No have been arrests made and investigations continue.

13. In Howick, a case of murder was reported on 3 June 2016. It is alleged the victim is a former councillor from the Inkatha Freedom Party and was said to be outspoken as a community member and against nomination of an ANC candidate.

14. Just outside of Pietermaritzburg, a case of murder was reported on 1 June 2016. It is alleged that victim had just arrived at home and was attacked and killed on the spot. Matter under investigations.

15. A case of murder was reported on 1 June 2016 after a Ward 1 candidate in the Umziwabantu municipality was shot and killed in-front of his children. No arrests yet.

16. In Ezakheni, a case of murder and attempted murder was reported on 13 February 2016. No arrests and the matter under investigation.

17. Still in Ezakheni, a case of attempted murder was also reported after a shooting incident targeting Ezakheni mayor’s body guard in the township. No arrests and it is still under investigations.

18. In Bergville, a prominent councillor of the NFP was shot at and a case of attempted murder was opened on April 16 2016. No arrests have been made and the matter is under investigations.

19. In Madadeni, a case of murder and attempted murder has been opened after unknown gunmen attacked ANC members in the township on May 2016. No arrests yet.

20. In Harding, on 18 June a case of murder was reported after an ANC candidate was shot at and killed in the area. Investigations are continuing and no arrests have been made.

21. In Ladysmith, a case of murder was opened on 18 July 2016 and it is still under investigations.

22. Enhlahleni, a case of murder has been opened after an NFP councillor was shot at and killed.

23. In Hlobane, just outside Vryheid, a case of culpable homicide has been registered and the matter is under investigations.

24. In Madadeni, a case of murder was reported on July 2 2016 and the matter is still under investigation.

25. In KwaNongoma, a case of murder was opened on 25 June. It is alleged that the victim killed was not the intended victim and that his cousin, an IFP candidate councillor was the target. No arrests and investigations continue.

Meanwhile, another ANC candidate councillor of Walmer ward four, in Port Elizabeth, has been gunned down.

Nceba Dywili was shot dead in Zwide on Tuesday night.

He was dropping off a colleague when two suspects approached them and opened fire outside the woman's house.

The woman is recovering in hospital.

Explore the interactive Google map below of recent political killings:

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