ANC members shot dead in KwaMashu hostels

2014-04-01 00:00

TWO ANC members were killed in KwaMashu’s hostels on Sunday despite the presence of the police’s elite National Intervention Unit (NIU) in the area.

Also on Sunday, NFP supporters campaigning in Umzumbe on the KZN South Coast said they were attacked with stones by ANC supporters, some of them wearing ANC T-shirts.

The NFP said their supporters were injured and two of their vehicles were set on fire.

Both the NFP and the ANC issued statements yesterday condemning the violence in the area

In KwaMashu, Sithembiso Biyela (35) was gunned down at his home in Block 631, Jabula Road. Biyela was with his girlfriend, who is in a critical condition at a Durban hospital.

Malusi Ndlovu (26) was also shot and killed on the same road the same evening.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the incident happened shortly after party members reported receiving threats that they should vacate the hostel after last week’s by-election that was won by the IFP.

“The ANC is deeply saddened by the brutal assassination of its leader. This murder bears the hallmarks of a carefully crafted plan to use intimidation and violence as a way of frustrating the will of the people,” said Zikalala in a statement.

Biyela had just defected from the IFP and was the ANCs acting deputy block chairperson.

In February, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni visited the area to assess how “our interventions [by bringing in the NIU in the area] were assisting to ensure that people’s democratic right to freedom of movement, association, expression and safety and security has been enhanced”.

Four people were shot in the first two weeks of February. An NFP and IFP member were killed and two NFP members were injured.

Yesterday, provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the intervention team was still in the area but it was also people’s responsibility to work with the police to keep peace. “People must report illegal firearms in the hostels,” he said.

MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu said Biyela’s murder was politically motivated.

He said police were following possible leads not only for Biyela’s murder, but for others that were committed in the area.

“However, the biggest challenge here is the environmental design at the hostel. The passages are so difficult to negotiate. It would be very difficult for police coming from outside to work here and they could be easily taken out by the criminals,” he said.

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