SALGA condemns attacks on councillors

FEBRUARY 24, 2016

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has condemned the violent killings of councillors in the country.

Earlier this month, armed men burst into the Democratic Alliance’s Ngqura Constituency Office in Kwazakhele, in Nelson Mandela Bay, in the Eastern Cape, and fired a gun, shooting at DA activists and councillors, before stealing cell phones and bank cards.

In another incident, Councillor William Mahlangu, who was a member of the Tshwane Mayoral Committee responsible for finance, was shot while returning from a committee meeting in September last year. He died last week in hospital and was buried in Hammanskraal on Saturday.

On Monday, Gauteng Councillor Mbuyiselo Dokolwane was shot dead in Freedom Park, in Johannesburg,

It is believed Dokolwane was killed after returning from a branch meeting. Exact details surrounding the shooting remain unclear and police have said they are investigating.

“On behalf of local government, we pledge our solidarity and convey our heartfelt condolences to the Dokolwane family and loved ones. We lower our banner in honour of his passing in the service of the people,” it said.

SALGA called on law enforcement agencies to move swiftly to get to the bottom of the matter.

“South Africa has experienced a proliferation of violent crimes and the high levels of crime poses a serious threat to our emergent democracy,” said SALGA.

It said councillors bear the brunt of community anger when it comes to functions that are sometimes allocated to provincial and national government.

“There are several interventions that have been and continue being implemented by the SALGA to secure the safety of councillors as leaders of various communities in the local government sphere.

“The reality is that the interventions are long term in nature and the plight of councillors requires an immediate attention in terms of safety,” the association said.

- SAnews.gov.za