Probe into KZN murders on track

Friday, September 8, 2017

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says the men and women in blue are on track to bring to book the masterminds behind the KwaZulu-Natal political killings.

The Minister said this when responding to a follow-up question from Agang SA MP Andries Tlouamma when the Peace and Security Cluster appeared before the National Assembly to answer oral questions on Thursday.

Tlouamma had asked the Minister what is being done to stop the senseless killing of politicians in KwaZulu-Natal.

“When I came in as Minister of Police, I came in when the murders in KZN were actually escalating. Whether political or not, it is a matter that is a subject of investigation.

“But a lot of those who have pulled the trigger in these KZN killings have been arrested and the main concern for our department and the Ministry of Police is not the trigger man -- it is the man behind the trigger person. That is what we are interested in,” he said.

Murders with political links have been on the rise in the province, the latest being the passing away of former ANC Youth League Secretary General Sindiso Magaqa, while he was in hospital not long after he was gunned down in the province.

The Minister said government has instituted a multi-disciplinary approach to focus on the murders and killings in KwaZulu-Natal, whether they are political are linked to taxi violence.

“We are narrowing the scope towards those that will manifest themselves in the so-called political killings and I can assure this House that we are very much on track.

“All leads have actually been followed. It is unfortunate… that one of the most militant and the most disciplined fighters of the ANC Youth League and the ANC, Sindiso Magaqa, fell along the way as we conduct the business of bringing those who shot him to book.

“I want to say to South Africans that our police force is working very hard to ensure that those that have [committed] this callous crime are actually brought to book and I can say to you that I am very confident that we will make major breakthroughs in relation to the killing of people in KwaZulu-Natal and with the support of our people, bring those who are behind these murders to book,” he said.

Plans to stabilise the crime intelligence division

The Minister said, meanwhile, that plans are underway to bring stability to the crime intelligence division.

“Major General Ngcobo was appointed to the position of Acting Divisional Commissioner on 23 August 2017 and is tasked with stabilising the division in terms of its services.

“I have directed the Acting Divisional Commissioner to unite crime intelligence personnel in a common purpose, as well as to create an enabling environment for all members to focus on the division’s mandate and priorities,” he said.

He said while the role of those who fall under the division is to support crime prevention, detection and investigation, there was a need for a firm command and control to mitigate against potential abuse of power and resources.

“As Minister I am alive to this and have begun a process of plugging any potential holes in terms of likely wayward or rogue behaviour. The division is required by law to perform its duties with greater adherence to law and the spirit thereof.

“I have encouraged IPID [Independent Police Investigative Directorate] to be vigilant on the division and assist me in cleaning it up.

“This includes making sure that no one with criminal charges remain at work until their matters are resolved or otherwise. We are also looking at matters relating to potential irregular promotions which impact on the general negative performance of the division,” he said. –

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