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‘Party leaders use assassins to build strong support base’

Athandiwe Saba, who also works for the _Mail & Guardian_, says most of the political killings are centred within the KwaZulu-Natal ANC because the province’s size makes it a kingmaker.

FILE: Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - With the 54th African National Congress (ANC) national conference drawing nearer, the Centre for The Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) says the increased competition for political office suggests that political killings are likely to spike.

South Africa has seen a rise in the murders of councillors and municipal officials, especially in KwaZulu-Natal in the past two years.

The centre is holding a discussion into the origins of these killings and possible solutions at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg.

Speaker at this forum Athandiwe Saba, who also works for the Mail & Guardian, says most of the political killings are centred within the KwaZulu-Natal ANC because the province’s size makes it a kingmaker.

She says her research reveals that party leaders use assassins to build a strong support base ahead of elections.

This is on the back of the recent announcement that KZN has thrown its weight behind presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma ahead of the party’s national conference starting next week.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)