South Africa

Traditional leaders fed up as 25 izinduna killed in KZN in two years

More than 25 izinduna have been killed in the province in two years.

More than 25 izinduna have been killed in the province in two years.
Image: 123RF/Paul Fleet

The Provincial House of Traditional Leaders in KwaZulu-Natal has expressed concerns over the safety of their leaders as dozens of murders have gone unsolved.

This week it emerged that at least 25 izinduna (local community leaders) have been murdered in the province over the past two years.

The house's chairperson, Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, said such killings, which have continued unabated, have led traditional leaders to be seriously concerned about their safety and to be in a constant state of alert.

He said these murders were increasingly destabilising the institution of traditional leadership.

“We are pleading with anyone who might have information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrators in the attacks and killings of izinduna to come forward and apprise the police and prosecutors about what they know.”

Chiliza said more than a 100 izinduna have been killed in the province in recent years, and no-one has been able to establish the motives behind the slayings.

“We call upon law enforcement agencies to do due diligence on the cases involving attacks and killings of izinduna. We are also urging the police to keep families of slain izinduna updated on the ongoing investigations in order to show that the necessary work is being done to ultimately crack the cases.” 

Chiliza said the house was now considering the necessary steps they would have to take to ensure the bloodshed is stopped.

“Izinduna play a critical role of keeping the peace in our communities and they also work with a variety of stakeholders to protect the right to the welfare of our communities.”

DA KwaZulu-Natal leader and MPL Zwakele Mncwango called on premier Sihle Zikalala to set up a commission of inquiry into the alleged assassinations.

“The investigation needs to focus on the actions of SAPS and arrests, the causes of the violence, and what can be done to address the problems which lead to these heinous acts. The premier must also report to the premier portfolio committee and provide ongoing feedback to this legislative body (provincial legislature).”

He said the DA was deeply worried about the lack of police action.

“SAPS must prioritise these murders and work tirelessly to resolve the cases. Arrests need to be made and criminal charges must result in convictions for the perpetrators. Many of these izinduna are located in rural areas and, once again, the issue of rural safety is brought into the spotlight. A determined, multifaceted approach to this ongoing problem needs to be prioritised so that all rural communities can be given the protection they deserve,” said Mncwango.

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