Deputy mayor’s murder: two held Third suspect sought after killing of NFP official

2014-12-01 00:00

TWO people have been arrested for the murder of uThukela District Deputy Mayor B.D. Mazibuko, who died in an alleged brawl early on Saturday morning.

Mazibuko, a member of the National Freedom Party (NFP), had been appointed deputy mayor three months ago. He took over from Maliyakhe Shelembe, who became a Member of Parliament.

Mazibuko was a close associate of Shelembe, the national chairperson of the NFP, who is believed to have endorsed him for the position of deputy mayor.

Municipal insiders were reluctant to dismiss Mazibuko’s death as the result of a tavern brawl.

They are suspicious that it could be linked to tensions within the NFP. An ­insider from the uThukela District, who would not be named, said that despite being a new party, the NFP was beset with factional power battles.

He noted that the party’s regional ­conference is due to take place within a few weeks and that there were struggles over leadership positions.

A district municipal employee said that shortly after his appointment as deputy mayor, Mazibuko had been ­assigned four bodyguards.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay ­Naicker said all the police could confirm at this stage was the arrest of two ­suspects aged 25 and 26. Naicker said a third suspect was still at large.

He added that the knife alleged to be the murder weapon had been recovered at one of the suspect’s homes. They will appear in the Bergville Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

According to Naicker, the arrests ­follow an incident at a tavern in ­Langkloof, Bergville, at about 2 am on ­Saturday. Mazibuko (35) was allegedly involved in an argument that ended with him being fatally stabbed in the neck.

Shelembe could not be reached for comment.

uThukela District Council Speaker Tim Jeebodh said they were sorry to lose their deputy mayor as he had just been in office for just three months.

Jeebodh expressed the council’s ­gratitude to the police for making arrests in the case, and extended the district ­municipality’s condolences to Mazibuko’s family friends, and his political party.

Transport, Community Safety and ­Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu expressed despair at news of the murder.


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