Cele to provide update on KZN political killings

Police Minister Bheki Cele, 17 August 2018, Unisa Campus, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Police Minister Bheki Cele, 17 August 2018, Unisa Campus, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Cele’s update comes as a suspect reportedly linked to the murder of a KZN ANC councillor was arrested earlier this week and appeared in court today.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and national commissioner of police, general Khehla Sitole, were expected to provide an update today on the inter-ministerial committee intervention into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

The update would be given as the Daily News reported that the Hawks had earlier this week arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of Umzimkhulu Local Municipality councillor Sindiso Magaqa.

The suspect was reportedly due to appear before the Umzimkhulu Magistrate’s Court today.

The Hawks told the publication that they could not comment on the matter as it was being handled by Cele’s office.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Kara confirmed to the newspaper that a suspect accused of one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder appeared in court today.

Magaqa, a former ANC Youth League leader, was shot in July last year after attending an ANC branch executive committee meeting. He was with two other councillors at the time of the attack.

The former ANCYL leader died in hospital almost two months later, reportedly from his injuries.

Last month, Cele announced a new task team to investigate the spate of political killings in the province.

During that announcement, the minister had said that six suspects had been arrested in connection with political killings in KZN.

Cele said that one suspect linked to Magaqa’s murder had been killed and that another suspect allegedly tied to the killing of the former ANCYL leader was doing time in prison for a separate crime.

The police minister on Tuesday announced that according to the latest crime statistics, there was a 6.9% increase in murders in the 2017/2018 period.

The statistics, which Cele said had shocked him, revealed that an estimated 20,336 people were killed during the period, 1,320 more than the previous year, and 40,035 were raped.

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