African National Congress (ANC) leaders led by President Cyril Ramaphosa are holding urgent meetings in Durban over the continuing political bloodshed in KwaZulu-Natal.
The governing party postponed its traditional Monday meeting at Luthuli House to attend to the political tension gripping the province on the east coast of South Africa.
Ramaphosa is being accompanied by ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe and deputy secretary Jessie Duarte.
The leaders had earlier visited the family of slain ANC Moses Mabhida region convenor Musawenkosi ”Mqatha” Mchunu.
The ANC activist was gunned down on Friday night as he was exiting his vehicle at his home at KwaPata, Pietermaritzburg.
Ramaphosa told ANC supporters gathered outside Mchunu’s home that the governing party will not allow KwaZulu-Natal to be ”turned into killing fields” and that Mchunu’s killers will be apprehended.
”Mchunu is the 14th leader to be killed in this region. We don’t want anymore killings…there are people who do not want peace and want to turn KwaZulu-Natal into a killing field…we will not allow KwaZulu-Natal to be killing field of South Africa,” he said.
The latest tragedy of continuing political killings in the province come as the governing party holds regional elective conferences ahead of the much anticipated provincial conference at the end of this month.
Allegations of gatekeeping to prevent the Ramaphosa faction from dominating at the conferences emerged over the weekend.
Ramaphosa supporters believe their members are being kept from participating in party processes in order to bolster the numbers of the larger faction in the province, which supports Sihle Zikalala, at the provincial conference.
Zikalala is the co-ordinator of the provincial task team after the national executive committee resolved to dissolve the provincial executive in January.
Another politician, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) councillor in the Zululand district, Sibuyisele Dlamini, was killed in an ambush between uLundi and Nongoma on the same day as Mchunu.
Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the Mchunu family on Sunday.