Jimmy Mohlala, speaker of the Mbombela municipality in Mpumalanga, was shot dead at his house in January 2009. Sindiso Magaqa, an ANC councillor at Umzimkhulu municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, succumbed to his injuries in 2017 after being shot in what is believed to have been an ambush.

These are only two of scores of municipal councillors who have lost their lives as servants of the people at the local government level — supposedly the coalface of service delivery. Unlike many others, they have faces and names. Like so many others, though, their families have yet to see justice many years after their deaths. This is how dangerous the business of serving the people — especially as whistle-blowers to malfeasance — has become...

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