8 IFP councillors killed in KZN since 2011, commission told

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala has listed at least eight of their councillors who have been murdered since 2011. He has questioned why there seems to only be a focus on those from the ANC.

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

DURBAN - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has told the Moerane Commission of Inquiry which is investigating political killings that the party has been the target of assassination plots since democracy.

The organisation is making presentations in Mayville on Tuesday - where it’s weighed in on why politicians continue to be murdered in KwaZulu- Natal.

The IFP says while it used to be at the forefront of violence during the height of apartheid, the situation has changed.

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala has listed at least eight of their councillors who have been murdered since 2011.

He has questioned why there seems to only be a focus on those from the African National Congress (ANC).

He has spoken about the violence in KZN during the late 80s and 90s, saying the same protagonists back then continue to perpetuate the conflict.

Gwala says the tension with the breakaway National Freedom Party is an extension of the dispute the IFP has long been having with the ANC.

He warns the failure of the South African Police Service to prosecute those responsible for the violence has led the party to believe that they are deliberately doing so because the weapons hitmen use come from police.

The IFP has told the Moerane Commission that it believes the failure of police to prosecute perpetrators of violence has contributed to the escalation of crime.

The party is giving its testimony at the hearings in Mayville on Tuesday.

It says the conflict in the province must be studied in a larger context dating back to the dawn of democracy.

Gwala says many of the murders and attempted hits would never have taken place in the absence of the belief that hitmen are politically protected.

Gwala has also questioned why the ANC-led provincial government has asked the commission to investigate murders from as far back as 2011, and not before this period, where more people were killed.

He says this time frame also coincides with the formation of an alliance between the ANC and NFP.

The IFP leader says his party has been calling for a probe into politically motivated killings since President FW De Klerk but their pleas have gone unanswered.