AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - “We must not become a country where the killing of political candidates is seen as a normal event”

Monday, 1 August 2016 human rights   bishops   violence  

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides)-“We are deeply saddened to see that after 22 years of democracy, politically motivated killings, a shameful reminder of a painful past, are again being committed” said Bishop Abel Gabuza, Catholic Bishop of Kimberley and chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in a call to the nation to put an end to political homicides which steep in blood the electoral campaign for municipal elections in South Africa to be held at the end of the month.
Bishop Gabuza’s appeal came after the latest wave of murderous crimes with the deaths in KwaZulu-Natal Province only hours apart of two activists of the ANC (African National Congress, the party in power since 1994). Since the election campaign started 12 people have been killed in what would appear to be political murders , similar to those which marked the time of Apartheid and the period immediately after. Ninety per cent of the political homicides this year have been registered in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
“We must make sure that our country does not become one of those nations where the murder of candidates before elections is considered normal. Given the sacredness of life, the death of even one candidate during an election must be considered one too many” said Bishop Gabuza.
The Bishop then appealed to the judiciary system to ensure that such crimes do not go unpunished , “whatever the perpetrators’ political affiliation”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 1/8/2016)