Only law enforcement and the judiciary can deter political assassinations – Gwede Mantashe

Gwede Mantashe, President of the ANC and Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy.

  • Gwede Mantashe called on law enforcement officials to “arrest, prosecute and sentence perpetrators to long prison terms”.
  • His call comes after two ANC leaders were killed in the Eastern Cape on Monday.
  • The Eastern Cape ANC has called on the Minister of Police to set up a task force.

ANC President Gwede Mantashe says spike in killings of party members and leaders will only be deterred if law enforcement officials ‘arrest, prosecute and sentence perpetrators to lengthy sentences from prison “.

“Killing a person is a criminal offence, so such incidents must be treated as such. Any effort to deviate from this can only make the situation worse. Any criminal who kills people for political ambitions must be arrested and the law must put in jail for longer terms,” Mantashe said.

He warned that any intervention by the ruling party should not obscure the fact that the task of deterring crime lies with law enforcement officials.

He said:

The ANC will never fill the role of the police. The party can only speak politically and warn comrades that they cannot kill each other for political reasons, but it cannot replace the role of the police.

“At the end of the day, you can only fight crime by arresting, prosecuting and convicting criminals. There’s nothing else that deters crime,” Mantashe said.

His comments came as two other ANC leaders lost their lives after being shot in the Eastern Cape.

On Monday, an ANC ward councilor in Nelson Mandela Bay, Andile Andries, and a member of the regional executive committee, Lubabalo Keso, were shot dead outside Andries’ home.

READ | Two more ANC leaders murdered in Nelson Mandela Bay area

In February, another ward councilor, Zwelandile Booi, was shot dead in the province.

Just last week, an ANC member, Ofentse Nkomo, 38, was shot dead during a branch general meeting in Mothotlung, a sub-region of Madibeng in the northwest, causing the rally to collapse . A 30-year-old party member was also injured in the incident.

Two weeks ago, Mfundo Mokoena, a member of the ANC Youth League work team and deputy secretary of the Ward 67 branch, was shot dead.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape echoed similar sentiments in Mantashe – and called for the creation of a special police task force to investigate politically motivated killings.

Speaking to News24, ANC provincial spokesman Loyiso Magqashela said the request for a special police team to investigate the politically linked killings was not just being made now , but dated back to February 2022.

Magqashela said:

We had been tasked to request a special task force from the Minister of Police to the Prime Minister and MEC for Community Safety in February when Kwazakhele Ward 20 Councilor Zwelandile Booi was shot dead.

He said the party had no response from the prime minister, the MEC or the police regarding their request.

“We were expecting feedback now – but unfortunately these killings are continuing and we haven’t heard anything about it. Whether the team has been set up or deployed, we are still in the dark” , said Magqashela.

Cele spokesperson Lirandzu Themba, SAPS Eastern Cape spokesperson Thembinkosi Kinana and the provincial government had yet to respond to News24 regarding the February request for a task force.

Ahead of the 2021 local elections, the ANC secretary general’s office revealed it was consulting with the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to find solutions to the rise in politically motivated killings – but no no update had been given on the strategies put in place.

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