Home South African Cele says ’political killings’ ahead of elections a cause for concern

Cele says ’political killings’ ahead of elections a cause for concern

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About six people have been killed in KZN, two were murdered in the Western Cape and Tshwane lost an ANC councillor.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

THE RECENT “political killings” in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng amid the rising election fever is a cause for concern to the SAPS, which has identified some parts of the two provinces as hot spots ahead of the November 1 municipal polls.

Police Minister Bheki Cele raised the alarm on the weekend during a crime-busting operation conducted in Mamelodi township.

He, however, noted that the prevalent election temperature was not any worse than compared to the previous election periods in 2011 and 2016.

About six people have been killed in KZN in relation to the upcoming election, two were murdered in the Western Cape and Tshwane lost an ANC councillor.

“I must say without fear of contradiction that the temperature of elections is not worse or as bad as it has been in 2016 and 2011, especially in KZN,” said Cele.

He added that although the police had responded to the killings, it didn’t mean they would “rest on their laurels”.

Other problematic provinces, Cele said, were the North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

“We know that there are some upheavals going on in Mpumalanga,” he said.

During last week’s court appearance of former Mpumalanga Agriculture MEC Mandla Msibi, accused of double murder, his supporters came out in big numbers and protested outside the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court.

Msibi was released on R20,000 bail and had since indicated that he wanted to meet with the ANC top six because he believed that his arrest was politically motivated.

Cele said that the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster would host a media briefing on Monday to outline its overall strategy on dealing with the elections.

“There are few voting stations that need an extra eye from the police and the biggest chunk of them are in KZN. Gauteng comes after KZN and the Western Cape. We want a clean week going into the election.

“But also we are ready to make sure that there is no reaction of those people that would have been defeated and try to render the elections illegal by bringing violence to it,” Cele said.

He sang the praises of the police management of Gauteng, saying they were “very proactive”.

On Friday night, the police hosted a crime-fighting operation in the Western Cape and Cele said the operations assisted in terms of inspiring some confidence in the people as they looked forward to casting their ballots on Monday next week.

“But Mamelodi has been giving us some trouble, starting from the days of (Vusi) Khekhe and his guys, Boko Haram gang and all that.

“The police have made a commitment to fight crime by putting extra resources, including the deployment of the tactical response team in both Mabopane and Mamelodi.”

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