New intervention unit to stop attacks on KZN traditional leaders

By Suthentira Govender

The spate of recent attacks on traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in the provincial government giving the green light to the establishment of a community safety intervention unit.

Premier Sihle Zikalala announced the approval of the unit at the provincial executive council (PEC) meeting on Wednesday.

At a meeting earlier this month the premier, MECs and traditional leadership were told that law enforcement agencies had prioritised crimes against traditional leaders.

According to information presented at the meeting, police are investigating 42 cases dating back to 2012 involving the murders and attempted murders of traditional leaders.

“According to law enforcement authorities 28 izinduna and five amakhosi have been killed during the period under investigation.

Twenty-five people have been arrested in relation to some of the cases.

Some of the motives behind the killings include the struggle for chieftaincy, land disputes, family disputes and taxi-related disputes.

Zikalala said the new unit would work in conjunction with law-enforcement agencies to deal with the specific challenges related to the safety and security of traditional leaders, izinduna and other safety challenges facing the province.

The community safety intervention unit (CSIU) will undertake the following activities, among others:

  • conduct security analysis related to any incident, threat or instability;
  • engage law enforcement to facilitate appropriate deployment and investigation;
  • conduct analysis of underlying causes of violence and formulate intervention approaches; and
  • review the security situation on an ongoing basis and facilitate remedial/adjusted measures where necessary.

“The executive council is concerned about the increase in violent attacks on amakhosi and izinduna as well as the safety of KwaZulu-Natal citizens in general,” said Zikalala.

“The new unit will complement the work of the SA Police Service in bringing peace and guaranteeing the safety of citizens.”

This article first appeared in Times Live on 27 January 2022.

Permanent link to this article:

Custom Contested