The ANC has condemned the alleged involvement of its councillor in the apparent assassination of one of the party’s local leadership hopefuls in the Eastern Cape.
This comes after the arrest of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela local municipality councillor Lucky Mbuzi, who was named by the police as the suspect behind the killing of Mduduzi Madikizela, who died in a hail of bullets at his Bizana home on Friday in a suspected hit.
The ANC and other political parties are currently gearing themselves up for the local government elections scheduled for later this year and the party’s internal contests have over the years been marred by instances of political violence and killings as its leaders jostle for positions, especially in lower structures.
Mbuzi and Madikizela were set to go head-to-head for the councillor post for ward 6 ahead of the municipal elections.
In a statement on Wednesday, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe expressed alarm about Madikizela’s “cowardly murder”, which also comes as ANC branches and regions across the country are convening their meetings and conferences and electing new leaders.
“We are concerned about what appears to be a growing disturbing culture of violent and criminal activities being orchestrated to eliminate others. We therefore call on law enforcement agencies to act swiftly and leave no stone unturned in timely unmasking the plot and the real motives behind this heinous act of murder,” Mabe said.
Eastern Cape NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said Mbuzi was due in court on April 28 where he would face murder charges. "He was arrested along with three other people and his case is a suspected hit," Tyali said.
Mabe stressed that all members who were in good standing within the party had the right to stand for positions within the ANC as well as to avail themselves as public representatives.
“No member should ever be intimidated into not exercising their constitutional right. Families should feel safe when comrades are out to attend meetings of the ANC and never have doubts that their loved ones may never return alive,” he said.
The ANC national leadership recently dispatched a task team to Mpumalanga after branch meetings convened to prepare for the long-awaited provincial conference degenerated into chaos and violence.
“Violence is both a crime and a serious act of misconduct in terms of the ANC constitution,” Mabe said.
According to the Eastern Cape ANC, its ward 17 councillor at Emalahleni local municipality, who is yet to be named, was also arrested after being linked to murders of seven people, five of whom were allegedly burnt alive.
Tyali said the councillor was due in court on April 23 with seven other people as they remained accused of mob justice.
Provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said the ANC welcomed the arrests and that the two were instructed to immediately step aside while they were being referred to the provincial disciplinary committee.
“We are confident that our disciplinary processes will deal with these matters expeditiously and arrive at a sanction that will be commensurate to the serious offences committed by these councillors,” Ngcukayitobi said.