The IFP, as the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature, believes that the ANC-led provincial government in KwaZulu-Natal is to blame for the killing of Amakhosi. This, after Inkosi Siphamandla Khumalo of the Amantungwa Traditional Council in Utrecht (Emadlangeni) was shot and killed, along with his wife. Their four-year-old child survived. The incident happened in Kingsley between Blood River and Dundee on Sunday, 29 October.
This is after Inkosi Khumalo survived an assassination attempt on his life last year.
As the IFP, we were led to believe by the KZN provincial government that the KZN Department of Community Safety and Liaison had been allocated R11.5 million for the proposed establishment of a Community Safety Intervention Unit, for the protection of traditional leaders in KZN.
Why then, do Amakhosi continue to be slaughtered? Where is the R11. 5 million? Why was Inkosi Khumalo not protected, after millions had supposedly been allocated for this purpose?
It had been stated that this was a pilot project for three to six months, but nothing was said about how the R11.5 million would be spent. Further, what happens after this pilot project has run for six months? How will Amakhosi be protected?
As the IFP, we have long been calling for the ANC-led provincial government to take the issue of the safety of Amakosi seriously, yet our cries seem to fall on deaf ears. There are multiple cases involving the murder of Amakhosi that have been waiting for years to be resolved.
During the swearing-in of government office bearers, a massive phalanx of praetorian security guards and vehicles stand at the ready. Why then, does government fail to provide protection for Amakhosi? We appreciate that the question of the cost of VIP protection for Amakhosi – including implementation, which includes training of personnel – may be raised.
However, can one put a price on the lives and safety of Amakhosi?
It is high time for the KZN Provincial Government, under the leadership of Premier Nomusa-Dube, to admit that it has failed to protect Amakhosi. She has followed in the footsteps of her predecessor, former KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, who also failed dismally to protect Amakhosi.
The KZN provincial government, in particular, Premier Nomusa-Dube, as well as the KZN MECs for COGTA and Community Safety and Liaison, Bongi Sithole-Moloi and Sipho Hlomuka, should have come together to prioritise the protection of Amakhosi.
In the past, each and every clan had its own systems in place for the protection of Amakhosi, but government decided to discard these systems, and now it is failing to protect Amakhosi. Further, no monetary reward is offered for information that could lead to the arrest of the killers of Amakhosi. We have also called for a Commission of Inquiry into the killing of Amakhosi, however, our calls fell on deaf ears.
The IFP is of the firm view that the murder of Amakhosi and other citizens is proof that government has failed to eradicate crime and illegal guns. We urge government to come up with new strategies to deter people from committing crimes.
The Premier must take practical action in the fight against those killing Amakhosi, instead of holding another futile Izimbizo. We are tired of government merely sending condolences whenever an Inkosi is killed. Once the Inkosi is buried, government forgets about their safety, and only wakes up again when another disaster strikes.
Government must stop gambling with the lives of Amakhosi and then crying crocodile tears. This must be a wake-up call for Amakhosi; the ANC-led government does not care about them.
The IFP send its heartfelt condolences to Inkosi Khumalo’s family, His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini and the KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders. The IFP calls on the police to work around the clock to apprehend the killers of Inkosi Khumalo.
Mr Blessed Gwala MPL
Leader of the Official Opposition in KZN
078 290 5842