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A disturbing new report reveals that KwaZulu-Natal is the contract killings capital of the country.
The Assassination Witness project’s ‘The Rule of the Gun: Hits and assassinations in South Africa 2000–2017’ was released today. An analysis of data on contract killings in the country from 2000 to 2017, the report reveals 40 percent of hits and assassinations recorded during the 17-year period – a total of 522 targeted killings – were in KwaZulu-Natal.
The second largest contributor was Gauteng, where 24 percent took place. The report finds men are most often targeted and that firearms are the weapons of choice. Most hits and assassinations are carried out outside the victim’s home and often as he or she is arriving home, late at night.
And as contract killings continue to increase, taxi industry-related killings account for the bulk. These are followed in contributions by political killings, then organized crime and finally hits and assassinations that fall into the “personal” category. Researchers also say taxi industry-related killings have a direct impact on hits and assassinations in other categories.
This, they explain, because the industry has “generated a cadre of hitmen available for hire”.
Looking ahead, researchers recommend improved firearm control to reduce the flow of illicit arms as well as focusing on reducing the violent competition within the taxi industry.
They also say the supply of hitmen for hire needs to be stemmed and prosecution-led investigations, bolstered.