THE resurgence of political violence in the Umtshezi (Estcourt) area took centre stage at a press conference on the province’s crime prevention strategy yesterday.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu said Umtshezi remained a major concern for the KwaZulu-Natal government as it’s the only area in the province that is failing to shed its violent past of political killings.
Senzo Mchunu was speaking following a presentation of the national strategy on crime prevention by the national police commissioner Riah Phiyega at the provincial legislature yesterday.
The presentation was attended by MEC of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu and also by provincial commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni.
The department of community safety and liaison recently released a statement saying Willies Mchunu had called on national Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to intervene in the matter again.
It detailed at least 10 incidents of political violence in November, recording at least two murders and eight attempted murders.
Senzo Mchunu said, “The Umtshezi area is the only area remaining in the province where there is still political violence and there are killings.”
He warned that this will not be tolerated. “It’s just a few remaining people that are still doing this, we know who they are and we know where they are … it is just a matter of getting them.”
Willies Mchunu said since the intervention of Mthethwa in May when he held a meeting with political leaders of different parties, there had not been any incidents. “… The incidents only started up again in October.”
Willies Mchunu said there was a need for the local police station in Umtshezi to be given moree staff as he believed the current management did not have an adequate strategy to deal with the political violence resurgence.
Speaking on the national strategy on crime prevention, Phiyega said the strategy relied on community members, civic organisations and businesses uniting in the fight against crime.
“This is not just a police issue, it’s a society one …”
Ngobeni said the efforts will be intensified this festive season.
“… There is a high influx of visitors to this province because of our beaches and tourist spots — more than in other provinces.”
She said part of the strategy will see an increase in foot patrols, road blocks, co-ordination with the metro police and the deployment of volunteers.
Senzo Mchunu promised to allocate more resources to assist Phiyega to ensure the effective implementation of the national crime prevention strategy.
“We want KwaZulu-Natal province to be at the forefront of the fight against crime …”