Home Affairs hitman: Minister contacted by ‘assassin’ asking for a bribe

 ·29 Apr 2024

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says that he has been receiving several communications a day from a supposed hitman who has been contracted to kill him, asking for a bribe not to go ahead with it.

The case has been headed over to the Hawks for investigation.

Speaking to eNCA, Motsoaledi said a purported hitman has been contacting him multiple times a day to start a bidding process for his life.

“An individual has recently been phoning me six to eight times a day to tell me that he has been sent to assassinate me.

“He added that he had already been paid; however, if I [Motsoaledi] paid him more, he would then go and kill those who sent him instead of me,” the minister said. “It was a bidding process.”

When asked why someone had sent a hitman to assassinate him, Motsoaledi said he wasn’t told what the motive was and had no idea what it could be.

Motsoaledi added that he has since handed the issue over to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) for further investigation and can’t comment on its progress as it is still ongoing.

‘Special team’ to tackle political killings

The murder rate among South African politicians is six times higher than the national rate of 45 per 100,000 people, making it one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, according to 2023 data from The Outlier.

According to the latest annual crime statistics published by the South African Police Service (SAPS), acts of violent crimes in the country, including murder, are on the rise.

The data reveals that South Africa’s murder rate has increased from approximately 30 murders per 100,000 to 44.66 murders per 100,000 over the past decade, resulting in an average of 77 murders a day.

Municipal ward councillors and mayors are particularly vulnerable for political killings.

The murder rate among municipal ward councillors, including mayors, is six times higher than the national average, with a rate closer to 260 murders per 100,000 over the same period.

Just over 4,500 councillors work in South Africa’s 257 municipalities, and since 1 November 2021, 71 councillors have died – almost a third of them were shot dead, The Outlier said.

Of these 71 councillors, The Outlier confirmed that at least 20 were murdered. Six of these murders took place since the start of 2023, with two of them in June and July.

The data further showed almost half of the murders reported since October 2021 happened in KwaZulu-Natal (10), followed by the Eastern Cape (4) and Mpumalanga (3).

Police Minister Bheki Cele said efforts are being made to deal with the rising concerns of political killings in the country.

“A special team was formed to deal with political violence in KZN. The team has since expanded to other provinces,” he said.

Read: More power for traffic cops in South Africa could be coming

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