Criminality threatening democracy, say Mabopane residents

Mabopane resident David Bokaba said that while they were generally concerned about increasing lawlessness in their township, the murder of ANC councillor candidate Tshep Motaung sent shivers down his spine.

ANC ward councillor Tshepo Motaung. Picture: Supplied

MABOPANE - As the country reels from the murders of candidate councillors with at least eight people killed so far, residents of Mabopane, north of Pretoria, said that criminality is threatening democracy.

Last month, African National Congress (ANC) candidate councillor of ward 22 in Mabopane, Tshepo Motaung was shot dead execution-style, with Police Minister Bheki Cele confirming that the hit was politically motivated.

As a result, a heavy police contingent will be deployed in Mabopane, among other areas in Tshwane, with the capital categorised as a hotspot over the pre-election period.

Tshwane is no stranger to electoral violence after residents embarked on destructive protests during the last local government elections in 2016 after the ANC nominated Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate.

Five people were killed during the chaos.

However, this time around, concerns around the execution of a safe and secure election in the area follows the murder of Motaung, who died from his injuries after he was on the receiving end of a hail of bullets.

Mabopane resident David Bokaba said that while they were generally concerned about increasing lawlessness in their township, Motaung’s murder sent shivers down his spine.

"The fight is within the ANC. When they choose councillors and they get killed afterwards, we started worrying. And it scares us that if there's a problem within the ANC that if I get selected and those within don't like it can kill me. That means that people will fear to stand as future councillors because people's lives are at risk."

Police said that six politicians were gunned down in KwaZulu-Natal, one in the Western Cape and one in Gauteng in the lead-up to Monday’s local government polls.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.