There was no quick fix to the political violence and killings plaguing KwaZulu-Natal, the African National Congress’ (ANC) provincial chairperson told the Moerane Commission investigating political killings on Thursday.
“It is very clear to us that there are no short cuts or quick fixes to ending the violence. The very existence of the commission is informed by the ANC’s call for an objective judicial body to assist us get to the very bottom of these killings,” ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala told commissioners.
Zikalala was testifying in Mayville, Durban, on behalf of the ANC’s provincial executive committee.
The party has come under scrutiny at the commission as witness after witness testified to infighting and contestation over posts as being two of the biggest factors driving violence in the province.
Zikalala said the ANC’s own assessments of the killings, based on an analysis of law enforcement reports, indicated that 80 politicians had been killed in the province since 2011. The victims included party members, leaders, councillors and candidate councillors.
The commission is tasked with investigating political violence and killings from 2011 onwards.
“Since January 2016 the killings included 19 members of the ANC, three members of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), three members of the National Freedom Party (NFP), three members of the South African Communist Party (SACP), and one member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF),” he said.
The commission needed to help the party – through its findings and recommendations – to assist families, friends and comrades who had endured “untold pain and suffering from the loss of their loved ones, to find closure and healing”.
Zikalala said: “These killings of politicians have affected most of the political parties in the province albeit on different degrees. Of all the political parties, the ANC has been the most affected party.
“Out of failure to appreciate objective realities or out of sheer opportunism, many have sought to then conclude that the killing of politicians is the problem emanating from the ANC and is, therefore, a problem of the ANC.”
Zikalala’s testimony continues.