Bheki Cele, left. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA
Bheki Cele, left. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA

Police Minister Bheki Cele has urged law-enforcement agencies to "pull up their socks" in tracking down the killers behind the deaths of several political leaders on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast — or face "consequence management".

Cele was speaking from Margate on Tuesday morning‚ where he met police‚ including the head of the Hawks and the special task team to investigate political killings. His visit to the area comes after the death of ANC branch leader Sifiso Cele‚ who was shot execution-style in full view of his partner and children on Monday morning.

Sifiso Cele’s death was the second in two weeks following the death of Nombuso Mqadi‚ also from the Oshabeni branch.

The minister said that while Cele’s attackers took his cellphones and R3,000‚ there was a strong suspicion that the robbery was a decoy for the real motive for the killing.

"They are investigating the politics of the murder. This belt of the south coast — Umzimkhulu‚ Pietermartizburg and Richmond — it is a common thing that people are still murdered for their political beliefs. So that what’s we are concentrating on. The belt here‚ is a belt of political murder."

The police minister said he met the Hawks and the task team for a status on these and other killings in the area since 2012. He said he was not happy that people had not been arrested and imprisoned in connection with many of the killings‚ which he believes are politically motivated. "It’s the only province given a special task team to deal with political killings‚ which tells you that everybody recognises and accepts the problematic political killings."

Cele said he would speak to Justice Minister Michael Masutha to do whatever was needed to enhance the investigations to ensure the attackers were imprisoned.

"We want to see someone put into an orange [prison] uniform. Law-enforcement agencies need to pull their socks up. There will have to be some form of consequence management. If you are given the job and the job is not done‚ something will have to happen. These people were not hit by lightning‚ they were shot. I am not happy that someone is not in prison."