Meeting discusses dealing with political killings

Friday, November 24, 2017

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has at a meeting this week proposed a number of measures aimed at dealing with political killings in KwaZulu-Natal.

The SALGA Working Groups held a meeting at their KwaZulu-Natal provincial offices this week to discuss local government affairs, as well as reflect on the killings of councillors and municipal officials.

The Working Group said the unfortunate wave of violence against councillors and municipal officials threatens the credibility of democracy and poses a danger where society in general might develop intolerance.

The meeting committed to, among other things, launch a national campaign on social cohesion to deepen democracy and engage the NCOP to convene a special plenary debate on the attacks on councillors and municipal officials.

Some of the other proposals included interacting with community members on challenges faced by councillors, the reclassification of political killings into priority crime, counselling and debriefing to be made available to those who have been threatened as well as to lobby for the introduction of an interim measure to allocate close protection services to all office bearers in the local sphere of government.

The meeting highlighted the need to promote ownership of local democracy by communities, political parties educating their members on political tolerance and engaging with the SAPS and NPA to ensure that reported cases are investigated and prosecuted.

The SALGA Working Groups meetings come after the nationwide Provincial Members Assemblies (PMA's). The PMA's are the ultimate authority of the provincial members in between Provincial Conferences of SALGA.

SALGA Working Group Chairperson for Councillor Welfare and Empowerment, Governance and Intergovernmental Relations Working Group, Bheke Stofile, said they had undertaken to set up focus teams to deal with issues of political killings, however, the incidents have continued unabated.

“Safety and security is a national function delegated to the provincial level. Part of our reflections in the working group will be to assess and reflect on the status quo,” said Stofile. – SAnews.gov.za

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