More than 90 politicians have been murdered in SA since the start of 2016, the New York Times has revealed in an in-depth article.
The newspaper said the killings had this in common: “They were members of the ANC who had spoken out against corruption in the party that defined their lives.”
Recently released official crime statistics show that 57 people are murdered every day in the country.
The newspaper quoted Thabiso Zulu, an ANC whistle-blower in hiding, saying: “If you understand the Cosa Nostra, you don’t only kill the person, but you also send a strong message. We broke the rule of omertà.”
‘Omerta’ is the unwritten rule of the Italian mafia that you should never speak about wrongdoing you witness within the organisation.
Among the victims of the killings was former ANC youth leader Sindiso Magaqa, who was shot dead in an ambush.
The paper said the death toll was climbing quickly. About 90 politicians have been killed since the start of 2016, more than twice the annual rate in the 16 years before that, according to researchers at the University of Cape Town and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime
It quoted former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza saying: “These allegiances go all the way to the top of the party. That’s why the ANC is not interested in this, no matter how many murders there are.”