Police minister shakes up political killing task team

THE task team deployed to lead investigations into political killings in the province has undergone some changes.

In May, following the death of former Oshabeni branch treasurer Sifiso Cele, Police Minister Bheki Cele visited Margate SAPS to announce the intervention of top brass in political killings in the province.

Sifiso Cele’s death was the second political death in as many weeks in the region, and provincially even more political deaths have occurred.

During his visit, Minister Cele announced that an inter-ministerial task team would be formed in order to address the spate of political killings in the province.

On Friday, however, the minister announced that the investigating team had been changed.

“As a way of progress, we have taken a decision to change the members of the task team that were responsible for the investigations into the political killings.

“The new project team has 118 new members plus eight members from the previous task team who have been retained,” said the minister.

“This team has now adopted a project-driven approach, meaning that they will have dedicated human and physical resources.

“The human resources includes seasoned and experienced detectives from various provinces including KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Western Cape,” he said.

The team comprises of 126 members, led by the acting Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and Brigadiers Ngwenya and Khumalo.

Additionally, the National Prosecuting Authority has also dedicated 16 experienced and seasoned prosecutors, led by Advocate Selepe, to support the investigating team.

Cele refused to divulge any further information regarding why the team was changed, saying: “I can only come back on that once it is investigated and discovered that indeed they deviated from the way that we’re supposed to do things.”

“We are satisfied with the work that this team has been doing thus far.

“Two weeks ago they arrested six people in connection with the spate of political killings.

Two firearms were recovered and have already been linked to at least eight cases,” he said.