Advocate Vasu Gounden selected by Premier of KwaZulu-Natal to serve on Commission of Inquiry into Political Killings


Commission formed to identify underlying causes responsible for the rise in political killings during the 2016 local government elections.

The Province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa witnessed a spike in political killings leading up to and after the local government elections which were held on 03 August 2016. In response to the political unrest, The Premier of KZN, The Honourable Willies Mchunu, has established a Commission of Inquiry that will investigate twenty (20) political killings that took place just prior to, as well as after the 2016 local government elections. Twelve (12) of those killed were members of the African National Congress (ANC), while the remaining eight (8) were members from the Inkhata Freedom Party (IFP); the National Freedom Party (NFP) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

The Commission of Inquiry is composed of Advocate Marumo Moerane (who will serve as the Chairperson of the Commission); Mr Solo Mdledle (who will serve as Secretary of the Commission); ACCORD’s Founder and Executive Director, Advocate Vasu Gounden; and Professor Cheryl Potgieter. Advocate Gounden has previously served on two Committees which were established by the then Premier of KZN, The Honourable Senzo Mchunu: The Special Committee on Social Cohesion (2014) – on which Professor Potgieter also served, and the Special Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration in KZN (2015). ACCORD served as the Secretariat for both Committees.

Presently the Commission’s scope of work will include making recommendations to identify the underlying causes responsible for the rise in political killings (during the above mentioned period); and the prevention of future murders and the role that Government could play. The Commission will conclude with the submission of a report no later than twelve (12) months after the date of Commencement.

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