ANC alone is not responsible for KwaZulu-Natal killing fields, says Sihle Zikalala
The ANC cannot be the only party to carry blame when it comes to political killings in KwaZulu-Natal‚ said ANC provincial chairman Sihle Zikalala.
On Thursday Zikalala led a delegation of provincial executive committee members to the Moerane Commission‚ which is investigating political killings in the province.
Zikalala said the ANC’s commitment to establishing lasting peace and stability in SA generally and KwaZulu-Natal in particular was well documented.
"The ANC made the call for the establishment of this commission of inquiry out of grave concerns resulting from widespread killings of politicians‚ which began to be more intense towards the 2011 local government elections and became extreme pre and post the 2016 local government elections‚" he said.
Zikalala said the killings of politicians had affected most of the political parties in the province‚ albeit to different degrees.
"Of all the political parties‚ the ANC has been the most affected party. Out of failure to appreciate objective realities or out of sheer opportunism‚ many have sought to then conclude that the killing of politicians is the problem emanating from the ANC and is‚ therefore‚ a problem of the ANC‚" said Zikalala.
He said this narrative had also been advanced in the commission — not only by the opposition parties that had appeared before the commission‚ but also by some members and former leaders of the ANC.
In what appeared to be a dig at former provincial ANC chairman Senzo Mchunu‚ who testified last month‚ Zikalala said: "Those who are in the ANC have not only sought to speak with authority on so-called internal weaknesses and squabbles in the ANC‚ but have also‚ in processes‚ tried to insulate themselves and posture either as victims or messiahs whose views should be taken a gospel truth."
"It is‚ however‚ not our intention to turn this commission into a political football pitch."
Zikalala told the commission that the objective reality was that the ANC had been the most affected for two reasons.
"Firstly‚ the ANC is a governing party and therefore it has more politicians in government compared to all parties involved. Secondly‚ because of its size and influence in society‚ the ANC is found in all corners of this province — in its majority‚" he said.
Zikalala said this situation was not meant to be a defence.
"The main thrust of our intention is neither to apportion blame on anyone‚ stakeholder or political players‚ nor to find easy scapegoats‚" he said.
Reading from a 33-page presentation‚ Zikalala gave a lengthy history of the violence in SA from the colonial era to the apartheid regime. He agreed with the previous witness‚ Prof Paulus Zulu‚ that SA‚ and KwaZulu-Natal in particular‚ was steeped in a bloody history.
Zikalala said the South African criminal justice system and the South African Police Service (SAPS) should be transformed and better equipped. He said his party was forging ahead with political education.
Zikalala suggested intelligence could play a central role in solving the problem of political killings.
"The ANC believes that intelligence — both state security and crime intelligence — can play a major role in identifying culprits and perpetrators of crime and violence to ensure that the police work is informed by accurate insight and intelligence to find perpetrators and collect evidence for successful prosecution‚" Zikalala said.
On the political side, Zikalala lamented political careerism and said it led to power mongering.