Latest political killings bring Limpopo in-fighting death toll to six, but there are still no arrests
The ANC in Limpopo has slammed police for failing to arrest suspected political assassins following last week’s dramatic killing in broad daylight of two ANC leaders in Mokopane, which is the seat of Mogalakwena Local Municipality.
On Friday, municipality spokesperson Malesela Selokela said morale was low among party members.
Municipal councillor Valtyn Kekana (54) and ANC subregion secretary Ralph Kanyane (32) were sitting in a car, parked next to a taxi rank in Mokopane last Tuesday, when a gunman opened fire on them.
The suspect then fled the scene on foot.
The ANC in the province slammed the SA Police Service for failing to make a single arrest in the continuous factional in-fighting plaguing Limpopo as cases of suspected political killings pile up.
“You cannot have more than six to seven people being killed and not a single person is arrested. We are disappointed in the police,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela on Friday.
In February, two members of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in Limpopo, Ronald Mani and Tshililo Timson Musetsho, were gunned down by unknown assailants.
The two worked at Vhembe District Municipality, one of the municipalities which had contravened the Municipal Finance Management Act by depositing millions of rands in public funds into the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank.
In the days leading up to their murder, the two had addressed striking municipal workers and were reported to have been at the forefront of fighting corruption, calling for the suspension and arrest of those municipal officials and councillors involved in the VBS scandal.
In November, an ANC ward councillor in Fetakgomo, Thabang Maupa, was fatally shot.
It is widely believed that his murder was also connected to the VBS scandal.
Describing the latest double murder as “brutal”, Selamolela said: “We are saddened and angry about such killings.”
Asked if he thought the killings were politically motivated, given the factional battles going on in Mogalakwena district, Selamolela said it was not the party’s stance to speculate on such rumours.
“We are calling on the police to speed up their investigations so that they can apprehend the people responsible for these crimes,” he said.
“Only when the perpetrators have been caught will we know the cause of the crime,” he said.
Mogalakwena’s municipal manager, Beverly Gunqisa, said the safety of all staff members was of primary concern.
Echoing these sentiments, Selokela said management was taking precautionary measures to ensure that staff were secure.
However, he did not divulge what measures were being taken.
Selokela dismissed claims that the murders were politically motivated as a result of alleged ongoing factional battles in the municipality.
“It is wrong for people to make such speculations when they have no proof,” he said.
“The matter is currently in the hands of law enforcement agencies and they should be given the space and time to do their investigations.”
“Whoever has proof that the killings are politically motivated should hand over the information to the police and stop pointing fingers.”
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said no arrests had been made thus far, but leads were being followed. “All we can say is that investigations are under way.”
Samwu provincial secretary Patrick Aphane said the lack of arrests by law enforcement agencies was disturbing because the reasons behind the killings would only be revealed when the perpetrators were found.
“Until arrests are made, we will never know the truth, and we remain vulnerable because of these unknown outcomes,” he said, adding that the victims’ families would be unable to find closure until the killers were found.
Aphane, too, has been a target. In December, his house was fired on by unknown assailants, but no one was injured.
Mojapelo said the R500 000 reward for valuable information that could lead to the arrest and subsequent conviction of those responsible for the murders of Mani and Musetsho was still on offer.
– Mukurukuru Media
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