The killing of KwaZulu-Natal traditional leaders, as highlighted by the recent murder of Inkosi Siphamandla Khumalo of the AmaNtungwa Traditional Council, is symptomatic of deep-seated security problems which cannot be addressed overnight.
Each time a KZN traditional leader is killed there are calls for government to put measures in place to ensure that these killings come to an end.
Following the murder of Khumalo — who was ambushed on the R34 while driving to Nquthu last Saturday — a number of individuals and organisations such as the IFP, have called on the provincial government to put measures in place to stop the killing of traditional leaders.
Feeling the pressure from the public, Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube called an urgent meeting with the management of the provincial Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) department this week to look into the matter of the killing of traditional leaders.
Dube-Ncube wants a full update on the implementation of the safety plans for amakhosi and political leaders, her office said.
However, the truth is that KZN has a culture of violence rooted in, among others, inter and intra political party tensions, taxi industry battles and izimpi zombango, where men from one village attack those of a neighbouring village over land or other issues.
As a result of the political killings, taxi violence and izimpi zombango, a significant number of KZN citizens have accepted that the killing of people is just a way of life.
Young men who grew up witnessing these killings, in their adult lives embrace this culture of violence.
Unless this deep-seated culture of violence is uprooted, no government or any other authority will be able to guarantee the safety of any individual or traditional leader residing in the KZN province.
And our beloved province will remain a hotbed for bloodshed, awash with the tears of those left behind to mourn their losses.