Deputy mayor killed, ANC suspects political motive

2008-06-29 00:00

THE African National Congress in KZN says the murder of the deputy mayor of Umkhambathini Municipality could be politically motivated.

Johnson Shlangu Mkhize (39) was shot dead by an unknown gunman while attending a traditional function at his parents’ home in Ngilanyoni in the Mid-Illovo area on Saturday.

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said Mkhize was in a vehicle with his brother about 100 metres from the function when the gunman opened fire.

He was rushed to the Mid-Illovo clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police have refused to speculate on the motive for the killing, only saying they are treating the killing as a “crime of murder”.

However, ANC provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu hinted that there is a strong possibility that the murder was politically motivated.

“We think that the murder is related to his public life and has nothing to do with his private activities.”

He would not elaborate, saying: “It is difficult to give details because we are still investigating”.

Mchunu described Mkhize as “very quiet”, adding that he was a committed and capable leader.

“His death is a great loss, not only to his family, but also to the ANC and the nation because of his contribution to a better life for all and his vision for our country.”

Mchunu called on all members of the ANC to “take every incident of violence seriously and report” these to relevant authorities.

He also called on the police to ensure that Mkhize’s killer is brought to book.

At the time of writing, no arrests had been made in connection with the incident.

sphumem@witness.co.za

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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