More than 43 councillors killed in five years — and the threats continue, says Salga
A total of 43 municipal councillors were killed nationwide between 2011 and 2016.
This was revealed in a report released by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) on the killing and intimidation of councillors and municipal managers.
The report shows that KwaZulu-Natal had the highest number of councillors killed on duty‚ at 22. Second was North West with six killings‚ followed by Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape‚ both with four‚ Gauteng‚ Northern Cape and Western Cape all with two and Limpopo with one. The Free State province had no record of any killing during the time of the research.
In the study‚ 46% of councillors said they had received threats several times. About 19% said they had received threats twice; 30% said once; and the rest did not disclose the frequency.
Most of the councillors who reported threats (36%), could not disclose the source of the threats against them. About 21% of the threats came from community members, with some 18% coming from other political parties and 20% from the councillor’s own party.
Shop stewards and employees contributed 2% each as sources for threats. Most of the threats to males (52%) and females (41%) were threats for physical harm. Councillors’ families were also threatened, as was their property.
Reasons for the threats were, mostly (29%), for service delivery issues. The second reason was municipal elections (21%), with general criminality accounting for only 10.5%.
About 55% of the councillors surveyed agreed that the intimidation would discourage them from running for office again.