Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
30 Aug 2021
6:18 pm

How KZN became the breeding ground for SA’s political assassins

Sipho Mabena

Police and crime intelligence are part of the problem, with corruption being endemic in all key law enforcement institutions.

Six suspects appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, 30 August 2021, on charges related to the murder of Gauteng health department finance officer Babita Deokaran. Deokaran was gunned down outside her Winchester Hills home and she was a key witness in the investigation of protective equipment (PPE) contracts. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

KwaZulu-Natal has been singled out as South Africa's breeding ground for assassinations, with its roots traced to the erstwhile apartheid government-formed hit squads, which operated in the area during the violence-plagued 1980s. In a September 2013 paper titled A PROVINCIAL CONCERN? Political killings in South Africa, researcher David Bruce noted that, at the time there had been about 450 political killings in KwaZulu-Natal since 1994, mostly in the mid and late 1990s and just under 25% (107) since 2003. https://www.citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/crime/2599361/deokaran-hitmen-only-the-foot-soldiers-bosses-pose-a-bigger-threat/ A legacy of apartheid According to University of Stellenbosch criminologist Dr Guy Lamb, the apartheid government provided training and armed certain...