South Africa: Political Assassinations Worry

South Africa: Political Assassinations Worry

Election years are particularly mourned by these murders.

The report is signed by the South African Observatory, a national arm of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The text was presented on May 20 less than ten days before the general elections and it is final. The text clearly highlights the terrible political violence reigning in South Africa where in the first four months of this year, no less than ten political assassinations were recorded, which represents an average of at least one fatal attack every two weeks over this period.

These incidents confirm the sad trend of previous years: the murders are brutal, often carried out by hitmen without concern for passers-by and frequently targeting high-profile personalities,” explain the authors, who insist that the victims are now increasingly “targeted at public gatherings, often in front of children and community members”.

The high number of political assassinations over the past decade is “particularly alarming”, especially since, the report insists, “there is no significant initiative in government.”

A 108% increase in targeted assassinations

Over the past ten years, the South African Observatory has recorded a 108% increase in targeted killings. As many as 488 politically motivated killings were recorded between 2000 and 2023, the report notes, adding that: “Hitmen have become bolder, incidents more public and victims more publicized in an overburdened criminal justice system, where only about 15% of murders are solved,” notes the report, which also highlights the fact that “this violence undermines democracy by allowing criminals to influence or control government functions.”

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