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SAHRC concerned by increase in political killings ahead of municipal elections

Recently, ANC leader Michael Phelembe was shot and killed outside his house in Mpumalanga.

Picture: www.sahrc.org.za

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it's concerned by an increase in political killings in the build-up to the local government elections.

In the most recent crime, African National Congress leader Michael Phelembe was shot and killed outside his house in Mpumalanga.

In February, two people were fatally wounded in the same area, in demonstrations over the nomination process of candidates for the August polls.

This brings to 10 the number of political activists killed in Mpumalanga.

Other hotspot areas include KwaZulu-Natal, where several political activists were killed in KwaMashu and Estcourt.

Police minister Nathi Nhleko recently appointed a task team to investigate these killings.

The commission's Dan Titus says they welcome the move, but have also called on the justice ministry to take action regardless of political party affiliation.

"We would really like to encourage the police, political parties, and the leadership in particular, to play their part and take us back to when we had free and fair elections."