In a statement on Thursday, the DA condemned “the cold-blooded assassination” of its Northern Cape councillor.
According to reports, Baaitjies was found lying on his face on the main road between Danielskuil and Postmasburg on Thursday night. He was shot twice in the head and once in the upper body, and dragged a distance before being dumped.
It is suspected that his murder was politically motivated, as Baaitjies received death threats shortly after winning Ward 2 in Danielskuil on August 3rd 2016, successfully wrestling it away from the ANC.
Baaitjies, along with his fellow councillors, was meant to be officially sworn in to council at the Kgatelopele municipality. The intention was that the two DA councillors, together with the two councillors from the Kgatelopele Community Forum (KFC), would form a coalition government and take control of the municipality from the ANC.
“The DA vehemently denounces any kind of prejudice and criminal activity based on political affiliation. The DA will not allow cowardly acts committed by faceless thugs to derail us from our efforts to govern in order to stamp out corruption, create jobs and deliver services to bring the change that moves South Africa forward again.
“The council is now officially a hung council, but the DA will contest the upcoming by-election for Ward 2. This time, we will work even harder to ensure that we take it with an increased majority. We will do this in remembrance of Johannes Baaitjies and we will do this for the people of Danielskuil who deserve better.
“The DA calls on the police to ensure that those responsible for the murder of Baaitjies are speedily brought to book.
“The DA extends our heartfelt condolences to Baaitjies’ wife and three sons, as well as his extended family who he has sadly left behind. He will be sorely missed and it will not be easy finding someone of his capabilities to fill the gap that he has left.”