POLITICAL VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN SOME HOSTELS
By: Mbali Mngomezulu
Violence has become a trend in KwaZulu-Natal’s (KZN) hostels in a bid to settle political scores.
According to the South African history online website, political murders were rife in KZN in the 1990s, in a bloody territorial war that saw the African National Congress (ANC) and its
rival Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) clashing over control of the province.
Recent studies conducted by the African Periodical Literature indicated that if the recent spate of political murders that have hit the province are anything to go by, then the murder
demon has not been fully cast out of the province.
In a case study of political violence at the hostels of uMlazi and KwaMashu conducted by Paulus Zulu, results showed that the number of politically aligned deaths has gone up to more
Rebecca Ramaphal, the spokesperson of African National Congress (ANC), said that an (ANC) member Nonhlanhla Biyela was a victim of political assassination in August this year
at the KwaMashu hostel in Durban.
“Two parties came up with a strategic plan in order to stop the violence in the province during the 1990s to make peace for the sake of harmony,” said Ramaphal.
Nosiviwe Sibiya, a student residing at KwaMashu hostel, said that her family had to relocate because of the unsafe environment they were living in.
“When it comes to politics there will always be killings involved, people have different opinions and different ways of doing things that may lead to conflict,” said Thulani Masipa
the spokesperson of the IFP.
The killings of members of political parties started during the apartheid era and it is still ongoing within some communities.
According to the Daily Maverick, “there have been 450 politically motivated killings in KZN since1994. Most of this violence took place in the mid and late 90s and about 107 (25%)
people were killed since 2003.”
Mpumalanga and KZN had the highest number of murders with KZN being the worst.
It was described as the epicentre of political violence with 450 assassinations that were documented by the South African documentary.
Twenty one years into democracy South Africa is still faced with political violence that has led to politically motivated assassinations.
“The government has initiated campaigns and workshops for the communities to stop the current situation,” added Ramaphal.