ANC leader shot dead in Ulundi

2013-08-13 00:00

A GUNMAN walked to the door of Makhosonke Msibi’s house yesterday and told his nine-year-old son that he wanted to speak to him.

When Msibi, the ANC branch chairperson in Ulundi, approached the man, he was shot.

He ran into his house, but the gunman followed him, shooting him nine times until he collapsed on the floor of his bedroom.

Msibi’s death has been described by analysts as having the potential to pose a serious threat to the stability of the province in the run-up to the general elections next year.

Bathabile Msibi, a spokesperson for the Msibi family, said the gunman also tried to shoot Msibi’s wife, but she hid.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge said they were looking for a lone gunman. A special police task team has been set up to find Msibi’s killer. He said the motive for his killing was unclear.

Independent KZN violence monitor Mary de Haas said it was shocking that Msibi’s killing came right after the ANC welcomed 700 members and leaders of other parties into its ranks.

“I don’t know whether it was meant to send a message or it was planned before the floor-crossing.

“What I make of it is that it is worrying in the run-up to the elections,” De Haas said.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said the use of violence to secure block constituency support has always been a problem in KZN. “It looks like it is continuing despite the transition to democracy,” he said.

“What we should be looking at is the warrior cultural tradition where political scores were settled through use of political violence,” he said.

Both De Haas and Fikeni said political killings were no longer a regular occurance, but remained a concern.

“It is something that happens now and again. There were quite a few last year in Durban, linked to the tensions between IFP and NFP.

“As elections approach I don’t know whether we are to see an increase,” De Haas said.

She, however, said some of the politically-linked killings were not necessarily among parties, but sparked by tensions within the parties.

She said good investigations and intelligence gathering were needed to stem the killings. “We need police from other areas who have a good track record. We need police who are not linked to any of the parties,” she said.

Yesterday, Msibi’s wife, Phumzile, could not contain her grief as she described how her husband was killed.

ANC leaders, including KZN chairperson Senzo Mchuni and his deputy, Willies Mchunu, yesterday visited Msibi’s family. ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said Msibi was a visionary and hard-working leader in the region.

“He was one of the comrades who recruited thousands of members for the ANC in Ulundi after he joined our movement. We have lost a person who ensured that the ANC was on course to emerge as the dominant force in the area generally and in particular at the next election in Nongoma,” he said.

NFP leader Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi said: “I condemn the brutal killing of Msibi. We call on police to investigate and arrest the perpetrators as we do not want our province to be involved in political violence once again.”

Additional reporting by


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