If not tackled politically, political killings will only get worse

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

The problem with what Ace Magashule said yesterday is that even his boss, President Cyril Ramaphosa, doesn’t believe it is true.

Given the ANC’s history of its senior leaders making public statements which fly in the face of reality, we are not surprised at the comments yesterday of the organisation’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule, that the killings in KwaZulu-Natal are not political.

Remember when Jacob Zuma told the world that having a shower after sex with an HIV-positive person would reduce the chances of infection? Or when assorted ANC cadres claimed the pool at the Nkandla homestead was there as a fire-fighting reservoir?

The problem with what Magashule said yesterday is that even his boss, President Cyril Ramaphosa, doesn’t believe it is true. Ramaphosa mentioned the killings while addressing the 20th annual African Renaissance Festival in Durban last week. He used part of his address to consider what the late President Nelson Mandela would have made of the killings.

“He would have spoken vocally and loudly and said some of the expressions of disagreements that manifest themselves in the killing of people you disagree with must come to an end.”

And that, we think, sums up the position perfectly.

What is happening in that tormented province has everything to do with politics…and is not mere criminality.

People who have been murdered are either political office bearers, or those who want to be. Given that political office in this country is the key not only to riches, but to basic survival for many without the skills and education to make it in the normal job market, this is a bloody competition for scarce resources.

It does nobody any good when the ANC’s Number 3 luminary denies this phenomenon exists. There is a danger that law enforcement authorities might take the same view and that there will be limited attempts to get rid of the scourge.

And if the violence is not tackled, and politically, too, it will only get worse.

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