PRETORIA– South African President Cyril Ramphosa has set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee of Ministers from the Cabinet’s security cluster of departments to probe the latest incidents of violence in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Ramaphosa announced this while addressing supporters of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg, the second largest city in KwaZulu-natal, where he had visited the family of the slain ANC convenor in the Moses Mabhida region, Musawenkosi Mchunu. Ranaphosa is also president of the ANC.

Mchunu was killed on Friday night. His death has sparked renewed fears of further attacks of ANC members.

Outside Mchunu’s house, the top six officials of the ANC were met by angry supporters, calling for, among other things, a postponement of the regional conferences, saying the province remains in a volatile situation.

After three ANC activists killed in three weeks, the attacks have shaken the province. Ramaphosa vowed to take action and said the Ministerial Task Team will report to him by next Monday.

An immediate investigation must happen. They must be immediately arrested and brought to justice. ANC must be united, ANC must be effective, ANC must be strong and we will make sure this death is investigated thoroughly until those who are responsible for the death of our beloved comrade are found, he said.

The leadership also met with the Provincial Task Team and regional structures. Three weeks ago, the NEC gave the go-ahead for regional and provincial conferences to proceed, despite some party members in KZN objecting.

Senior leaders say the incidents are worrying and pose a threat to the stability of the province.

A member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC), Zizi Kodwa, said: To what extent these killings are linked to the regional conferences is early to speculate. Law enforcement agencies are dealing with very complex situations about some of these lack of arrests and convictions of these killings which create more complex problems to those that we are already dealing with. But it’s early days to link any killing to a conference at the moment.

Four regions held elective conferences this past weekend. The outcome of these meetings is expected to decide on the way forward.

Another member of the NEC, the party’s highest organ, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa, said party conferences in KwaZulu-Natal, including regional and a provincial meetings, would continue as planned despite growing calls by some party members to shelve them until after next year’s general election, citing recent killings and alleged irregularities among the reasons.

Molewa said the party is disturbed by the recent killings, but they think putting conferences on hold might exacerbate tension among party members.

In the latest killing in the province, the family of the late ANC Branch Treasurer in the Oshabeni area on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, Sfiso Cele, is struggling to come to terms with his murder. Intruders stormed into their home last week as Cele and his family were getting ready for the day.

Family spokesperson Thulasizwe Msomi said Cele’s wife and children were forced into a bathroom as the men ransacked the house. Cele was taken to the bedroom and shot dead.