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The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is deeply saddened by the death of a councillor who was gunned down in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) yesterday. Councillor Mzwandile Shangu of the Mkhambathini Local Municipality, under the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, is the latest victim in the spate of unending killings of councillors that is becoming endemic in the province.
The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Fikile Xasa, said: “The killing of councillors is becoming rife and is likely to define the kind of society we are living in.” According to data by the South African Local Government Association, 39 councillors have died in KZN since September last year, and 19 of them were assassinated. The latest incident comes six years since the Moerane Commission probed the killing of councillors in the province and submitted its recommendations to the provincial government.
The committee discussed the matter of the killings of councillors in KZN on several occasions and it is calling on all the responsible authorities, including the KZN provincial government, the Department of Cooperative Governance, the South African Local Government Association, and the provincial South African Police Service Task Team tasked with addressing this matter, to take decisive action to ensure that the murder of councillors does not become a defining feature of our local politics.
Mr Xasa said the committee wishes to convey its heartfelt condolences to the councillor’s bereaved family and friends. “We are with you during this very difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers as you mourn the death of your relative. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” said Mr Xasa.
Issued by Chairperson of The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa