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SA Crime Quarterly

On-line version ISSN 2413-3108
Print version ISSN 1991-3877

SA crime q.  n.57 Pretoria Sep. 2016 



The killing fields of KZN: Local government elections, violence and democracy in 2016



Mary de Haas

Senior lecturer and programme director in the department Social Anthropology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Law, UKZN.




This article explores the intersections between party interests, democratic accountability and violence in KwaZulu-Natal. It begins with an overview of the legacy of violence in the province before detailing how changes in the African National Congress (ANC) since the 2007 Polokwane conference are inextricably linked to internecine violence and protest action. It focuses on the powerful eThekwini Metro region, including intra-party violence in the Glebelands hostel ward. These events provide a crucial context to the violence preceding the August 2016 local government elections. The article calls for renewed debate about how to counter the failure of local government.



In KwaZulu-Natal (KzN), the province dubbed the 'killing fields' in the early 1990s, all post-1994 elections have been marked by intimidation and violence. In the past decade intra-party conflict, especially over the nomination of local government ward candidates, has increased. In 2011 the conflict within the African National Congress (ANC) went beyond individual competition and was symptomatic of increasing factionalism within the party itself.

This article explores the legacy and current manifestations of violence in the province, and includes a focus on the powerful eThekwini Metro region and the intra-party violence in the Glebelands hostel ward. Crucially, it also contextualises the violence that preceded the August 2016 local government elections.


Political violence 1994-2015

The violence that engulfed KZN in the 1980s and early 1990s continued for several years after the 1994 elections, with an estimated 4 000 deaths between May 1994 and December 1998.1 Most of the violence occurred between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), but in the Richmond area in particular many deaths were linked to internecine ANC violence before and after it expelled warlord Sifiso Nkabinde in 1997.2

Elections have since been periods of tension, requiring the presence of state security in volatile areas. The first local government elections in November 1995 were delayed in KZN until May 1996, and necessitated the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).3Inter-party conflict has diminished since then, but still occurs.4

Violence is not limited to election periods. For example, between 2010 and 2012 at least 41 politically linked individuals were killed in the province.5 The murders were most common in the KwaMashu and Umlazi hostels in Durban, and in Umtshezi in Estcourt in the Midlands.

In early 2011 the New Freedom Party (NFP), headed by zanele Magwaza-Msibi, broke away from the IFP. According to NFP figures, about 60% of the victims of violence during this period were NFP supporters.6

An IFP-supporting hostel in KwaMashu was another site of violence. Here the victims were IFP and NFP supporters, as well as ANC supporters.7

In Umtshezi, victims included supporters of the IFP, the NFP and the ANC, some killed by members of their own parties.8

However, it is not always possible to clearly delineate political violence. For example, in Umtshezi political violence overlaps with taxi industry conflicts, while in KwaMashu it can be difficult to separate political killings from other, criminally motivated murders. The distinction becomes particularly difficult to make when political office-bearers have business interests, such as in the taxi industry. In addition, the use of 'hitmen' means that even where assassins are caught, it can be difficult to ascertain who hired them, or why.


Trouble in the ANC: 2007-2015

Paulus Zulu and Adam Habib have pointed to increased factionalism and polarisation in the ANC since the party's 2007 Polokwane conference.9

Interviews I conducted with long-standing ANC members at the time revealed serious tensions and a climate of threat and intimidation within ANC branches in KzN in the run-up to Polokwane.10 Those interviewed were adamant that provincial party lists at the Polokwane conference had been tampered with to exclude members not overtly supportive of now President Jacob Zuma, but that this had been reported to the ANC national office. Fears of increased violence were repeatedly expressed.11

The election of Zuma to national office in 2008 played a pivotal role in shaping provincial and municipal politics, and in struggles related to the national leadership of the party and government.

In KZN, Zulu ethnicity has long been entwined with politics.12 It is likely that Zuma's leadership contributed to the province's increased support for the ANC in the 2009 elections, despite its slight decline in support nationally.13 ANC membership in KZN is higher than in other provinces.14

The 2011 local government elections in KZN were marked by conflict over nominations and allegations of manipulation of party lists. Threats and intimidation were rife. Protests continued after the elections, and led to the establishment of an inquiry headed by Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, which found that 11 councillors had been fraudulently elected. One of them, Zandile Gumede, was to play a prominent role in factional struggles in eThekwini. Despite promises by national leadership that individuals elected in this way would be dismissed, it appears that only one by-election was ever held.15

After the 2014 elections, the then KZN premier, Zweli Mkhize, was deployed as ANC treasurer-general. His position as premier was filled by the then party chairperson, Senzo Mchunu. By then there were two clear factions in the party, one owing allegiance to Senzo Mchunu and the other to Willies Mchunu (no relation). The Senzo faction reportedly supported Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, while the faction behind Willies Mchunu supported Zuma.16

The years 2014 and 2015 were marked by tensions between these factions.17 However, the struggles were also noticeable in other numerically powerful regions such as uMsunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) and the Musa Dladla region around Richards Bay. Tensions increased following the July 2015 revenge killing of one of the premier's bodyguards, after Senzo Mchunu's faction was accused of orchestrating the death of regional chairperson and uMhlatuze municipality Mayor Thulani Mashaba. Mashaba had been accused of removing the municipality's previous mayor, Elphas Mbatha.18

A close associate of Willies Mchunu, Sihle Zikalala, was elected ANC KZN chairperson in November 2015 after an election in which the results were contested. This created two centres of power, one held by the premier and the other by the regional chairperson. The following month key Zikalala backer Zandile Gumede beat incumbent mayor James Nxumalo to become the party's eThekwini regional chairperson.19

Allegations of fraud and manipulation were made, leading to factions taking control of local municipalities. In the Harry Gwala region, Thabiso Zulu, former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader and regional secretary, alleged that the 2008 conference to elect ANCYL leadership in the region was manipulated by a powerful grouping.20 Zulu alleged that this faction siphoned off millions of rands of local and district municipality funds and engaged in various other corrupt acts. Despite documentation confirming this, and an audit report allegedly revealing almost R400 million in irregular or unauthorised expenditure over two years, no action was taken against the three men behind the faction. At the time of writing, this case was under investigation by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The man who blew the whistle on the alleged looting referred to by Zulu, the then speaker of the Sisonke District Municipality, Mandla Ngcobo, has since been persecuted. After he approached the high court in an attempt to stop an irregular payment involving millions of rands to a security company, the ANC instituted party and municipal disciplinary charges against him for bringing the party into disrepute. Ngcobo is no longer speaker and was not re-nominated as councillor. At the time of writing, in August 2016, he and Thabiso Zulu claimed to be living in fear of their lives.21


The politics of eThekwini Metro, 2007-2015

In 2008 Sbusiso Sibiya was elected regional secretary of the party's biggest and most influential power bloc. This is an important position, given that the metro has 110 branches and a massive budget - R39 billion in the 2015/16 financial year with a projected increase to a record R41.7 billion in the draft 2016/17 budget.22 A person in this position has the power to make decisions about the deployment of party members to key positions.

When he was elected Sibiya had a reputation for taking a strong stand against corruption. According to political journalist Sipho Khumalo, it was well known that the region's ANC chairperson, John Mchunu, who held the reins of power until his death in 2010, and Sibiya did not like each other. Mchunu had dispensed patronage using the metro's resources, and allegedly played a pivotal role in using the region's voting power to build support for Zuma ahead of Polokwane.23

On 11 July 2011 Sibiya was assassinated as he arrived back at his Inanda home after a meeting. His close associate, councillor Wiseman Mshibe, had been similarly gunned down at his Durban home in March that year. The assassination of Sibiya took place ahead of crucial regional and provincial ANC conferences, and his supporters believed that he had stood in the way of those who sought to use tenders to gain personal wealth.24

A former taxi operator turned construction company owner was charged with Sibiya's murder. However, in March 2014 charges against him were withdrawn following the death of the only 'substantial witness'.25 There has also been no conviction in the Mshibe case.

Allegations of corruption in eThekwini were supported by forensic audit findings. A report by Ngubane & Associates highlighted irregularities in procurement and irregular expenditure of over R500 million for 2008/09. The MEC for local government (COGTA) appointed Manase & Associates to do a follow-up forensic audit for the period ending January 2012.

The findings of the Manase report were damning, confirming grossly irregular procurement procedures and blatant conflict of interest transactions. It documented a cavalier disregard for proper procedures in awarding contracts, especially in the construction industry, and alleged a 'manipulation' of contracts in favour of certain service providers (including a prominent ANC member) at meetings chaired by senior Housing Department employees.26

Despite the municipality supposedly increasing controls over irregular expenditure, reports for the first three quarters of the 2013/14 financial year showed that over a quarter of contracts awarded, amounting to R1.722 billion, had used the same loophole that previously allowed contracts to be unfairly awarded.27

This corruption has affected poor communities and increased tensions. Poor communities have accused councillors of dispensing houses and public works employment opportunities to their supporters.28

The Glebelands hostel is an extreme example of the malaise affecting local government in KZN. Here at least 60 people have been killed in politically linked violence since March 2014.


Case study: Glebelands hostel29

During colonial and apartheid times single sex hostels were built to house many hundreds of thousands of workers in what were defined as 'white' areas, especially in cities and on mines. These workers were barred from settling in urban areas with their families through increasingly repressive influx control legislation.

Lying just outside the entrance to southern Durban's Umlazi township is Glebelands hostel. Like all other Durban hostels, this one has been administered by the municipality since the late 1990s.

The population of the hostel is estimated to be between 15 000 and 20 000, most housed in approximately 48 four-storey blocks, many with shared rooms and communal bathrooms and kitchens. However, there are also newer smaller blocks let as family accommodation and, according to a government representative, the total number of blocks is now 72 (although according to some counts there are more).30

Historically the complex has been an ANC support base. During the intense conflict in the townships in the early 1990s, IFP-supporting residents of Umlazi Section T hostels attempted to attack Glebelands hostel on more than one occasion. The nature of the conflict changed in the late 1990s when dozens of residents were murdered in intra-ANC conflict. Between the late 1990s and 2013 the hostel was largely free of political violence, except for a brief period in 2008 when there were attacks on, and evictions of, people who joined the Congress of the People Party (COPE). Most COPE supporters subsequently returned to the ANC.31

Local leadership within the complex was provided by elected block committees with executive structures. Similar structures have long been a feature of hostel life, where they have played a role in room allocation.32

The recent troubles began in June 2013, when a large group of hostel residents blockaded streets around the complex to protest against councillor Robert Mzobe, who replaced councillor Vusi Zweni who joined COPE in 2009. They alleged that '[Mzobe] did not consult with them on developments in the area and was a dictator'. He was accused of dividing and failing to show respect for the community, and irregularly allocating RDP houses. The leader of the protest, Themba Pina, accused him of refusing to help residents he had 'personal vendettas' against. Mzobe denied the allegations.33

According to residents who were tasked to approach Mzobe, they were treated disrespectfully and refused an audience. At an ANC branch meeting a vote of no confidence was passed in the councillor and he was asked to stand down, but did not.

In April 2014 a reputed warlord from another hostel, Bongani Hlope, moved to Glebelands. Hlope was allegedly seen at ANC meetings, linked to a faction supporting the councillor. He and his associates were accused of embarking on a reign of terror during which hundreds of residents, including women and children, were evicted from their rooms.

The arrival of Hlope and his associates coincided not only with forced evictions but also with increased murders. Many victims were shot dead, some execution style. By the end of 2015, 55 people, including Hlope himself, had been killed.

A detailed analysis of the deaths and displacements by independent human rights activist Vanessa Burger shows that the overwhelming majority of the victims were linked to block structures in some way, as officials, close associates, wives or girlfriends. At least four of those murdered - Themba Pina, Sandile Mteshane, Thulani Kathi and William Mtembu - had been among the dissatisfied ANC members who had brought the vote of no confidence in Mzobe. Two other residents who had indicated their willingness to stand as candidates in the local government elections were also among those who died.

The rooms of those who had been evicted were re-allocated by those who had evicted them, and money was allegedly extorted from the new residents. Cases of eviction, theft and assault were opened, but victims stopped laying charges when no one was arrested.

Tensions were exacerbated when rumours of a hit list emerged.34

From the outset the police were accused of being complicit with the ANC faction supporting the councillor. The first casualty at the hands of the police was Zinakile Fica, who died while being tortured by the Umlazi police on 13 March 2014.35 A further 10 cases of torture, most involving tubing (near-suffocation with a plastic bag) have been documented by Burger.36In addition, a number of residents were maliciously arrested, only for charges to be subsequently withdrawn.37

Since the onset of the violence, and in our interaction with the police, Burger and I have requested regular patrols and for the investigation of cases to be undertaken by detectives from elsewhere in the province.

We have also made police management aware of the vulnerability of specific residents who had been threatened. One of them, Sipho Ndovela, was a witness to a murder in which he alleged Hlope was implicated. Ndovela was subsequently shot dead outside the Umlazi court. A second vulnerable resident, Richard Nzama, who had also complained of a cover-up in an attempted murder case, was arrested in July 2015, charged with attempted murder, and brutally tortured. The charges against him were withdrawn in November 2015.38

The response of provincial and municipal government to this violence has been to dismantle the elected block structures and allocate R10 million for fencing and mast lighting.39 In the meantime, street lights at a main hostel entrance are frequently out of order, and overgrown vegetation poses a security risk. Serious water leakages recur regularly.

The provincial government's official stance on the violence, articulated in the media, has been inconsistent. Initially, while acknowledging intra-party tensions, it blamed what was happening on the sale of beds (which was used to justify the dismantling of the block structures). However, in July 2016 the coordinator of a peace committee appointed by the premier blamed old grudges, 'taxes' and disputes involving women as the reasons for the killings, and denied that the sale of beds or ethnicity played a part.

In December 2015 the national office of the public protector intervened, following an official complaint by the Commonwealth Legal Education Association. Over the festive season police from elsewhere in the country were deployed to the area. When they were withdrawn in late January, the killings resumed.40

A multi-pronged investigation by the public protector was underway at the time of writing. The office of Premier Willies Mchunu (formerly MEC for policing) initiated 'peace talks' between the 'factions', but they have been shrouded in secrecy, with participants warned against divulging the content of the talks to other residents or outsiders. A peace agreement was signed between the two parties on Sunday 24 July 2016. However, a climate of fear prevails.41

A task team of provincial detectives was set up in June 2015 to investigate some of the cases, but by August 2016 there had been no convictions for any of the murders committed since April 2014. The toll is currently standing at over 60.

It has become clear that the Glebelands hostel violence is intertwined with municipal and provincial politics.


Violence in 2016

The election-related violence in KZN, which began in early 2016, took place in a context of inter-party tensions in a few contested areas, and of serious intra-party tensions over the ANC leadership and 2016 election nominations processes.

During the first seven months of 2016, 20 politically motivated deaths occurred in the province. Three of those killed - Nompumelelo Zondi, Phosithe Mbatha and Anna Madonsela - were NFP supporters, and three - Alson Mzwakhe Nkosi, Siyanda Mnguni and Thokozane Majola - were IFP supporters. Fourteen were affiliated to the ANC.

There were also a number of attempted murders in which people were injured. In the contested IFP area of Msinga there was an attempt on the life of NFP KZN Chairperson Vikizitha Mlotshwa in April. Jeffrey Ngobese, the ANC candidate for nearby Muden, also came under fire in March while travelling on the road to Greytown. Subsequently Ngobese and other party members claimed they came under attack from IFP supporters while canvassing. A standoff between the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and ANC during the EFF's provincial manifesto launch at Esikhawini (Richards Bay) was averted by a strong police presence.42


Provincial politics, nominations and protests

In May 2016 Senzo Mchunu was replaced by Willies Mchunu as premier. A re-shuffling of the provincial executive took place, and various MECs were replaced. One position was given to Provincial Chairperson Sihle Zikalala and another to South African Communist Party (SACP) Provincial Secretary Themba Mthembu. Staff changes were also made in the premier's office.43

In early 2016 there were widespread allegations within the ANC and its alliance partners of irregularities at branch level, and interference by party officials at other levels in the lists of preferred candidates. In the Harry Gwala region there were complaints that the outcome of the selection meeting had been influenced by 'ghost delegates' who were not bone fide members, and that a call for the process to be reconvened had been ignored. Most regions in the province were affected, with various parts of the province, especially around Pietermaritzburg, subjected to nomination-linked protests.44

The degree of violence associated with the process varied, from the exchanging of blows at a meeting in Kokstad to the burning of a prospective candidate's home in iFafa (South Coast), and the burning of the home and car of a councillor at kwaDukuza (North Coast). There was extensive damage to government property in, among others, Folweni, south of Durban, where a group torched and looted municipal buildings and other property.

The dissatisfaction over nominations saw the burning of vehicles, the stoning of police, and the blockading of main roads from northern Durban township areas in June, resulting in severe traffic disruptions. By far the greatest property damage occurred in the iSithebe industrial area near Mandeni, where, in March, several factories were set on fire and subsequently had to close.45


Figure 1


Deaths and intra-ANC tensions, January to August 2016

On 24 January 2016, SACP supporter Phillip Dlamini and another man were shot dead in Ntshanga, and four others were injured at an SACP meeting in the ward of current eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo. Following the shootings the mayor called for the two ANC factions to hold a joint rally to deal with their internal differences, but the municipal leadership allegedly rejected the offer.46

January also saw the beginning of a chain of events in Pietermaritzburg, some apparently linked to continuing factional battles there. It started with the killing of traffic officer Joe Dlamini. After his death, a hit list with 15 names surfaced, with Dlamini's name at the top. Other names included the Pietermaritzburg municipal manager, the mayor, two councillors, and the regional secretary of the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) veterans' association. Five were members of the SACP. Jeffrey Mpulo, number nine on the list, survived what he claims was an assassinatio attempt. All were alleged to be supporters of Senzo Mchunu.47 Municipal Manager Mxolisi Nkosi, whose name was also on the hit list, was suspended from his job in February 2016, despite being responsible for the municipality receiving its first clean audit in years. He had also taken a very strong stand against corruption.48

From the end of May 2016 there was a spate of further killings in Pietermaritzburg:

On 31 May, Simon Mncwabe, who had just resigned as the chief financial officer of the nearby Mpofana (Mooi River) municipality, was shot dead when dropping his children at school in Edendale. Mncwabe had taken over a municipality under administration and had resigned just before he was murdered, after receiving death threats.

The following day (1 June), former Edendale branch chairperson Nathi Hlongwa was shot dead at his home after attending a party meeting.

Two women, Badelile Tshapa and Phetheni Ngubane, died after being shot on their way home from an ANC meeting on the evening of 8 June 2016. ANC sources claimed the killings were internal.

On 13 July, Pietermaritzburg Ward 22 ANC Chairperson Nonhlanhla Khumalo and her daughters narrowly missed being struck by at least seven bullets fired at and into their Edendale house.49

There were two deaths in Newcastle, that of youth leader Wandile Ngubeni in May, and candidate councillor Thembi Mbongo in early July. Like that of Councillor Thami Nyembe in KwaNongoma in May, the deaths are believed to be intra-party.

Durban Councillor Zodwa Sibiya, who was gunned down at her Glebelands home in April 2016, had been an outspoken critic of corruption. Her fellow hostel resident, Mduduzi Qwabe, shot dead in March, had reportedly been on the local hit list.50

On 18 July, two ANC councillor candidates were shot dead: Khanyisile Ngobese-Sibisi in the Ladysmith area and Bongani Skhosana at his home in Harding. The murders were described by a SAPS spokesperson as 'planned hits'.51

As the August 2016 municipal elections approached, the ANC in KZN remained bitterly divided along factional lines, with followers of the displaced premier said to be 'plotting revenge'. Nominations lists in the eThekwini metro showed that the supporters of James Nxumalo had been removed or relegated to low positions on the party lists, with virtually all candidates being supporters of Zandile Gumede, who herself feared for her life.52



The narrative presented here illustrates what Habib has described as the 'factional rather than cadre deployment' characterisation of the period since Polokwane, including the run-up to the August 2016 municipal elections.53 While members of opposition parties - the IFP and the NFP - also died in the run-up to the elections, this period saw an unprecedented number of ANC members shot dead, apparently in internecine violence. The elections themselves proceeded peacefully, but what will the postelection period bring? The simmering discontent over the party's 2015 provincial elections, fueled by the subsequent reshuffle of the provincial government, has culminated in a court case aimed at unseating the present provincial leadership. The threat of further intra-party violence remains.

The examples provided illustrate Zulu's argument that citizen participation in government is 'limited to the ritualistic periodic vote every five years', with the interim period dominated by an elite demonstrating 'more party loyalty and personal gratification than service to the citizens who put them there in the first place'.54 Service delivery protests are a symptom of government failure. Yet the governing party's conduct in the run-up to the August 2016 elections did not suggest that it planned to address the causes of discontent. To do so it would need to empower communities by involving them in development, rooting out corruption, and fixing a criminal justice system that allows most murderers to escape justice.

In KZN, democracy has failed poor people. There is a need to change policy and practice to ensure citizen participation and the accountability of elected officials.



1 M de Haas, Violence in KZN and the culture of impunity, Paper given at World Summit of Human Rights Defenders to mark 50 anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Paris, 7-11 December 1998.

2 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report, 3, 1998, 299-303; M de Haas, Violence, in South African human rights yearbook, 8, 1997,         [ Links ]

3 J Bodenstein, Elections, in R Louw et al. (eds), South African human rights yearbook 1996, 7, Durban: Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, 1998, 85-86;         [ Links ] M de Haas, 'Violence', in Louw et al., South African human rights yearbook, 272-293.         [ Links ]

4 See, for example, The Violence Monitor, Elections overview 2009, (accessed 22 July 2016).

5 Figures cited in L Medley, Political violence claims 41 lives, Daily News, 20 November 2012.

6 Regarding the leadership of the National Freedom Party (NFP) and its structure, see NFP, The National Freedom Party's national structure,;-Structure-Leadership.htm (accessed 7 July 2016); and The Witness, Evil forces aiming to eliminate NFP, 24 July 2012, which cites Magwaza Msibi about the killings of members.

7 See SAPA, Accused councillor, son freed, Daily News, 5 December 2013, about the dropping of charges against an NFP councillor accused of killing an Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) supporter, and numerous other press reports, incorporated into records kept by the author at the time.

8 For example, see Daily News, Killing ratchets up KZN tension, 20 August 2016, about the murder of an African National Congress (ANC) councillor in the area; The Witness, Internal strife within IFP claims its third victim, 2 September 2010.

9 Paulus Zulu, A nation in crisis: an appeal for morality, Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2013, 124-125, 127.         [ Links ] Adam Habib, South Africa's suspended revolution: hopes and prospects, Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2013, 12, 87, 128.         [ Links ]

10 Personal communication between author and sources in the party during December 2007 and January 2008.

11 The Violence Monitor, How real is the threat of post Polokwane violence, 2008,, (accessed 29 July 2016).

12 Mary de Haas and Paulus Zulu, Ethnicity and federalism: the case of KwaZulu/Natal, Journal of Southern African Studies, 20:3, September 1994, 433-446.         [ Links ]

13 Kate Lefko-Everett, Neeta Misa-Dexter and Justin Sylvester, Idasa 2009 Election response, NGO Pulse, (accessed 27 July 2016).

14 Weekend Witness, ANC membership dips by a quarter, 10 October 2015; City Press, The ANC's membership in 2010, 2012 and 2015, 10 October 2015.

15 See, e.g., Bongani Hans, Candidates' race turns ugly, The Witness, 15 December 2010; Bongani Hans, Cops open fire at ANC meeting, The Witness, 14 February 2015, re: conflict over party lists; Mayibongwe Maqhina, KZN ANC must redo elections, The Witness, 3 January 2013; City Press, ANC battles report riots, 2 June 2013, re: reaction to the DLamini-Zuma inquiry.

16 SAPA, Mkhize urges support for KZN premier, The Citizen, 17 October 2013; Mayibongwe Maqhina, Premier speaks of his political journey, Daily News, 30 May 2016, which quotes Willies Mchunu referring to his supporters urging him to remain in politics. Regarding support for Ramaphosa see Govan Whittles, Senzo Mchunu recall could leave KZN ANC-led alliance in tatters, Mail & Guardian, 24 May 2016, (accessed 22 July 2016).

17 Nathi Olifant, Fault line grows ahead of ANC's KZN forum, The Times, 4 November 2015.         [ Links ]

18 Mayibongwe Maqhina, Mchunu bodyguard gunned down, Daily News, 21 July 2015;         [ Links ] Lungani Zungu, Sacked ANC mayor to take party to court, Sunday Tribune, 8 May 2016.         [ Links ]

19 Genevieve Quintal, Sihle Zikalala elected new chairperson at dramatic #ANCKZN conference, Times Live, 8 November 2015;         [ Links ] Amanda Khoza, Zandile Gumede elected new eThekwini regional chairperson, News 24, 13 December 2015.         [ Links ]

20 Thabiso Zulu, Final push against looters and their sycophants, sent to community newspaper Mountain Echo for publication. The author is in possession of the manuscript and has had numerous communications with Zulu about it between June and August 2016.

21 Ibid.; Jeff Wicks, R400mln irregular or unauthorised expenditure, The Witness, 12 May 2015;         [ Links ] Sibongakonke Shoba, ANC 'discipline' for official who blew corruption whistle, Sunday Times, 25 January 2016;         [ Links ] Personal communication between the author, Zulu and Ngcobo during meetings in 2015 and 2016; the author, who has seen copies of highly incriminating documentation.

22 eThekwini Municipality, Draft budget, (accessed 25 July 2016); eThekwini Municipality Metro, City draft budget tabled,1 April 2016 - 14 April 2016.

23 Sipho Khumalo, Another murder amidst party tensions, The Mercury, 13 September 2011.         [ Links ]

24 Ibid.; Daily News, Sibiya seen as a risk by some, 12 September 2011; The Mercury, Big guns face arrest for Sibiya murder, 13 September 2011.

25 The Witness, More arrests imminent, 13 September 2011; Daily News, Sibiya murder arrest, 12 September 2011; The Mercury, Shock as charge against accused in Sibiya murder case withdrawn, 18 March 2014.

26 The Weekend Witness, Further sanctions are unlikely, 27 July 2013; City Press, Manase: Mpisane rakes in millions, 28 July 2013; Manase and Associates Chartered Accountants, Forensic investigation report eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, 25 January 2012, see, for example, 90, 215, 277-278, 306, 381 regarding the grossly irregular award to DKH, a construction company.

27 The Mercury, Irregular spending stands at R113m, 26 June 2015; The Mercury, Plunder of city coffers uncovered, 22 May 2015; Daily News, R212m irregularly spent in city, 12 February 2016.

28 Perceptions of and complaints about councillors surface in conversations with people living in such areas and in newspaper reports. Regarding alleged collusion between councillors and/or politicians and police see, for example, The Violence Monitor, Human Rights Day 2010: What rights for people in KwaShembe (Clermont), Macambini/Mangete and Kennedy Road, 21 March 2010, http://www.violencemonitor com/?p=41 (accessed 25 July 2016); and The Violence Monitor, Countdown to elections 2014: stop no go areas now, 11 July 2013, (accessed 25 July 2016).

29 Note that, unless otherwise indicated, all information relating to events in Glebelands comes from the meticulous documentation of what has been happening since March 2015 by human rights defender Vanessa Burger, whose research has included a great deal of participant observation as well as the taking of many statements and affidavits. The author has copies of all this documentation, including a database of attacks, evictions and deaths from March 2015 to the present. The author has worked closely with Burger and has also interacted on many occasions with residents. Reporters have also interviewed residents, and in January 2016 Daily News reporter Chris Ndaliso wrote a series of articles based on his interviews, for example Daily News, Witness a murder and you're next, 18 January 2016; see also Mail & Guardian, Glebelands: fingers pointed at untouchable serial killer, 5-11 June 2015.

30 Information about the number of blocks from residents and various press reports, including The Mercury, Reasons given for Glebelands killings, 18 July 2016, which cites a government representative as giving a figure of 72 blocks, which would include new, smaller units. However, according to Burger, who did a physical count of the blocks, there are a total of 90 in the complex.

31 PM Zulu, Hostels in the greater Durban region: a case study of the KwaMashu and Umlazi hostels, unpublished research report, 1992, 26; see also PM Zulu, Durban hostels and political violence: case studies of KwaMashu and Umlazi, Transformation, 1993. Information about the violence in the 1990s is from research done then by the author, regarding Congress of the People (COPE) conflict, from reports to the author from residents at the time, correspondence between the author and the South African Police Service (SAPS) and press reports.

32 Zulu, Hostels in the greater Durban region, 16.

33 Daily News, Streets blockaded near Glebelands, 21 June 2013.

34 Many residents reported seeing or hearing about the hit list, but no copy was given to them. As told to Burger beforehand, some of those named were subsequently killed. When confronted at a meeting at the public protector's Durban office on 10 March 2016, representatives of the municipality conceded that Hlope had indeed handed them a list of residents not wanted at Glebelands, as had been alleged by residents.

35 Regarding the death of Fica, there are sworn statements by two men arrested with him who were also assaulted, and a second post-mortem was performed by a top independent pathologist. The reluctance to report cases was reported to the author and/or Burger. The author and Burger have been in regular contact with SAPS management since March 2014. All references to police draw on correspondence and meetings, including a meeting between Maj. Gen Chiliza, Cluster Commander Umlazi, Burger and the author on 21 May 2015, and a meeting between members of a newly appointed task team, hostel residents and the author at the SAPS Durban headquarters on 2 June 2016. Much of the correspondence with the SAPS was copied to the then provincial MEC for policing Willies Mchunu and some was sent to the national commissioner of the SAPS.

36 Most of the torture victims received medical assistance and J88s, including in some cases a thorough examination by an expert in the use of 'tubing'.

37 Full details of the arrests and, where known, case numbers, and subsequent withdrawal of charges were recorded by Burger in a database. Some were followed up with the police by the author, who also assisted with legal representation for one of those arrested who was a key witness in the death of Fica.

38 Ndovela was with a man who was shot dead in February 2015 and he informed the Umlazi SAPS investigator that he had seen Hlope driving the bakkie in which the men were transported to shoot the victim. He also identified the killers, who were subsequently charged. He told Burger that the investigator had told him that the information about Hlope was not relevant and he could leave it out of his statement. Burger and the author arranged with the branch commander at Umlazi SAPS for Ndovela to make a supplementary statement on the afternoon of the day on which he was killed. The men who had been charged were subsequently acquitted. See The Violence Monitor, Assassination at Umlazi Court: policing heads must roll, 18 May 2015, (accessed 25 July 2016). Regarding the torture of Nzama, see The Violence Monitor, Holding the constitution in contempt: police torture in a constitutional democracy,, (accessed 25 July 2016). Burger and, on one occasion, the author, was present in court during all the remand hearings of Nzama.

39 Daily News, ANC handling hostel violence, 19 September 2014; Daily News, Plan to curb Glebelands hostel violence, 29 September 2014; eThekwini Metro, Calm returns to Glebe, 31 October - 13 November 2014; The Mercury, Reasons given for Glebelands killings, 18 July 2016.

40 This complaint was facilitated by Prof. David McQuoid-Mason, former head of the Department of Law at the University of Natal, who is currently chairperson of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association.

41 Mbuso Mkhize, Glebelands Hostel peace agreement signed, SABC, 24 July 2016, www.sabc./news/a/cc97f1004d9d0ae98139becfebe468/Glebelands-peace-agreement-signed-20162407 (accessed 4 August 2016);         [ Links ] East Coast Radio, Peace agreement signed at Glebelands hostel, 25 July 2016, (accessed 4 August 2016).

42 Daily News, NFP chairman dodges assassins' fire, 18 April 2016; correspondence between author and SAPS at Muden and Greytown about attacks on Ngobese, April 2016; Sunday Tribune, Bullets fly at EFF rally, 29 May 2016; City Press, Separated by a thin blue line, 29 May 2016.

43 Daily News, Premier not fazed by midterm, 26 May 2016; The Witness, Mchunu's aides axed, 7 June 2016; The Witness, Shuffle not the solution, 8 June 2016; Daily News, Premier speaks of his political journey, 30 May 2016; City Press, Is Willies just a KZN seat filler?, 29 May 2016.

44 The Witness, Presence of ghost delegate disrupts ANC's Harry Gwala conference, 3 May 2016; The Witness, Final push in protests: Edendale France and Payipini in uproar, 1 June 2016; The Witness, Flames over Majola: protests in Edendale's Ward 12 over imposed councillor, 22 July 2016.

45 Daily News, Councillor flees protestors, 23 February 2016; The Mercury, ANC nomination anger leads to riot looting, 1 March 2016; Daily News, Durban burns, 6 June 2016; The Times, ANC nomination list furore, 7 June 2016; Daily News, iSthebe violence continues, 10 March 2016; The Mercury, Buthelezi tells of his heartbreak, 6 July 2016 (about the factory closures in iSithebe).

46 The Mercury, Mayor not at meeting, 26 January 2016; Daily News, Puzzle over fatal shooting, 26 January 2016; The Mercury, Mayor's call for factions to meet rejected, 27 January 2016.

47 The Witness, Hit list handed to cops, 29 January 2016; Sunday Tribune, Mayor's name is on hit list, 31 January 2016; The Witness, Hit list man believes shots fired at house were for him, 12 April 2016. The author was sent a copy of the list.

48 The Mercury, Shock as municipal manager is probed, 25 February 2016; The Witness, Allegations of conspiracy, 12 April 2016; The Mercury, PMB graft probe fails to uncover any wrongdoing, 7 July 2016.

49 The Mercury, Dad gunned down in front of daughters, 2 June 2016; The Daily News, ANC branch official shot dead, 3 June 2016; The Times, KZN killings spark fear, 10 June 2016; The Witness, Back to the dark old days, 10 June 2016; Daily News, Officer's careless membership claims could lead to civil war: EFF, 11 July 2016; Daily News, Accused ANC killer granted bail: state slated for irresponsibility, 15 July 2016; The Witness, Put a stop to this madness, 15 July 2016.

50 Daily News, Playing dead to survive shooting, 12 May 2016; Daily News, Killing spurs peace bid, 15 May 2016; City Press, Manipulation of lists killed Mbongo, 10 July 2016. Information on Glebelands killings, including that of councillor Sibiya, was obtained from Burger; see also Daily News, Councillor killed at Glebelands, 18 April 2016.

51 Daily News, Two more die in poll violence, 19 July 2016; Sunday Tribune, Slaughtered in front of their children and families, 24 July 2016, about the killing of candidates.

52 The Mercury, Loyal cadres repaid, 2 June 2016; The Witness, ANC list is start of a new battle, 30 June 2016; The Witness, Axed mayors replaced by loyalists, 20 June 2016; The Mercury, City ANC leader fears for her life, 20 June 2016.

53 Habib, South Africa's suspended revolution, 67.

54 Zulu, A nation in crisis, 67.

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