Police Minister Bheki Cele said the multidisciplinary task team investigating politically-related cases in KwaZulu-Natal had made 355 arrests and at least 65 people had been found guilty.
Cele said the team comprised the State Security Agency, Department of Justice and Correctional Services, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and SAPS.
“A total number of 325 dockets, based on approved criteria for politically-related crime incidents, was assigned to the national task team.
“These cases span the years 2011 to the present, and include attacks on sitting council members as well as attacks on former and candidate council members, office-bearers for other political parties and municipal officials who end up victims or as deceased,” he said.
The category of cases probed include murder, attempted murder, intimidation, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm and other cases related to political incidents.
Cele said the national task team was expanding its investigation into politically-related cases including murders of council members, to other provinces where similar incidents were prevalent.
“The task team implements the traditional policing concept with the focus to address crimes affecting rural communities, create awareness and educate rural communities about violent crimes, including gender-based violence and femicide, amongst others, and to bring police services closer to rural areas.
“The engagement with communities through community policy forums is also key in the addressing of violent crimes in the communities.”
Cele was responding to parliamentary questions from ANC MP Nocks Seabi, who asked about the progress made by the inter-ministerial committee appointed to address violent crimes, including the killing of councillors and traditional leaders.
President Cyril Ramaphosa established the inter-ministerial committee in response to the escalation of politically-linked incidents in KwaZulu-Natal five years ago.
Cele said the committee was in charge of seeing to it that those responsible for crimes connected to politics were prosecuted.