Councillor ‘killed for political beliefs’

2010-01-26 00:00

THE situation is heating up in Newcastle after the murder of a member of the Amajuba District Municipality council and the Federal Congress (Fedcon) on Sunday morning.

Thenjiwe Buthelezi (66) was shot four times in the head and neck while she was at home alone in Osizweni, Newcastle, and politicians believe that the killing is politically motivated.

Neighbours reportedly told the police they saw two men leaving Buthelezi’s home after the shooting.

Newcastle Mayor Afzul Rehman said he believed Buthelezi’s murder was politically motivated. “There is a battle for power in Amajuba and people will do anything to gain it. In the municipality’s 25-seat council, Buthelezi was holding the deciding vote, as she was in favour of the ANC. With her gone now, there are 12 seats for both the ANC and IFP,” said Rehman.

The Witness understands that there are attempts being made to oust Amajuba Mayor Mkhulu Mlangeni of the IFP and council speaker Peter Croft of the Democratic Alliance.

Fedcon has been working closely with the ANC in the council, while the IFP worked with the DA, putting Buthelezi in the spotlight as her vote was vital in tipping the scales in favour of the ANC.

Newcastle Fedcon councillor Gijimani Mncube said the murder was committed just before a meeting scheduled for today, at which a motion of no confidence against the Speaker was planned. The meeting was originally scheduled for last Friday, but had to be postponed after disagreement on a Fedcon councillor’s eligibility to vote.

“Buthelezi has been killed for her political beliefs. She was murdered just before a meeting in which she would have been a deciding factor in taking control of the Amajuba District,” said Mncube. He added that the police were visible in the area, especially in close proximity to the homes of councillors.

The DA has extended its condolences to the family of Buthelezi. The party’s MP for Amajuba, Alf Lees, said he was shocked to hear of the murder.

“While we did not always agree with her views, she was a true and gracious lady who always said and did what she believed was in the best interests of the people of Newcastle and Amajuba. We fervently hope that Buthelezi’s murder had nothing to do with her change of political support in the Amajuba council.

“The struggle for control of the Amajuba council has been long and drawn out. This can only have a negative impact upon service delivery to Amajuba. We call upon the SAPS to do everything possible to swiftly bring the murderers to justice,” said Lees.

Police spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe said the motive for the killing remains unknown.

She appealed to anybody who may have any information that will assist in the investigation to contact the police.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.