uMkhonto weSizwe Party Member Shot in Suspected Political Killing

What You Need to Know:

48-year old Vusimuzi Ntuli, a member of South Africa’s newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party was killed in a suspected political hit while at a hotel in Umlazi, Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) on Saturday.

According to local press, Ntuli and an acquaintance were in the parking lot of the Tehuis Hotel in Umlazi when he was shot dead by unknown assailants. 

The killing has sparked fear that the country’s election, set for the 29th of May is to be marred by violence between rival political parties, specifically between the African National Congress (ANC), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and MK in Kwazulu-Natal, a provincial stronghold for the three parties. 

The Details:

In July 2021, widespread looting of shops and extrajudicial killings swept Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal, leaving 354 dead. This episode of societal breakdown, known as the ‘July unrest’, resulted from protests by supporters of Jacob Zuma, current leader of the MK party, against his arrest for contempt of court. 

Although violence reaching the extent it did in 2021 is unlikely during this year’s election, political killings, specifically in Kwazulu-Natal, are still a major concern. Since 2018, 155 political killings have been investigated in the province, including the murder of 52 Councilors. 

The province has struggled for decades with the unrestricted flow of weapons, sold or rented by police officers to criminals, as well as the impact of the existence of the ‘AK-47 corridor’ between Mozambique’s Maputo and KZN. 

As a result, many political killings remain unsolved. 

So, What Now?:

The resurgence of political killings during the run up to South Africa’s national elections are indicative of a larger problem– the degradation of the rule of law in the country. There is particular worry that Jacob Zuma’s re-entry into the political scene will stir up ethnic violence as well as inter-party violence as the upcoming election has been labeled “the most important in 30 years.” 

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Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.
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