ANC party officers. (News24)
Port Elizabeth - The African National Congress in Nelson Mandela Bay has called for calm following the "senseless killing" of one of its councillor candidates.
Ward 4 candidate Nceba Dywili was shot and killed on Tuesday in Zwide while dropping off a volunteer.
He later died at Dora Ngiza hospital.
Following a visit to the candidate's Walmer home, ANC regional spokesperson Gift Ngqondi called for supporters to remain calm and focus on the objective of retaining the Nelson Mandela Metro in the upcoming local government elections.
"We also wish to state categorically that in spite of the few challenges we have had with the list process, there was never any internal dispute in his ward or threats to his life that would lead us to believe that comrade Nceba's killing was related to the list process or factional battles as there were none in this ward," he said.
Dywili, who was also the president of Eastern Cape SMME's chamber, was a diligent servant of the ANC who was well loved and respected in his community, the ANC said.
Condolences to family
Ngqondi said the police were investigating the matter and called for the media and members of the public to refrain from speculation about the killing.
The party expressed its condolences to the family, friends and supporters of the murdered councillor.
"We want to reassure all our members that this senseless killing will neither frighten nor deter us. On the contrary, we will now, more than ever before, campaign vigorously to ensure that the African National Congress wins elections not only in Ward 4 in Walmer, but in the entire Nelson Mandela Bay Metro," Ngqondi said.
Shocked volunteers, supporters and ANC members were seen going in and out of Dywili's house on Wednesday as news of his death spread through the city.
While most gathered outside the councillor's offices in Ward 4, a few gathered outside his home, deep in the gravel streets of the mostly poor Walmer community.
"They took the leader, they finished him. They killed him, but we are not afraid," one said, shaking his head as he walked past the house where Dywili’s family had gathered.
Family not speculating
Speaking outside the home, Dywili's brother Sonwabo told News24 that the candidate had been passionate about politics from a young age.
A visibly upset Sonwabo said he had been woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call telling him to get to Dora Ngiza hospital.
"When I got to there, there were other ANC supporters. But it was only when I saw his body, saw what had been done to him, that I knew what happened. He was suddenly gone," he said.
He said his brother was a quiet person, who never bothered anyone.
The family were not speculating about what had happened to Dywili, he said, but would await the outcome of the investigation.
"There were no threats or anything on his life though," he said.
Call for anyone with information
Sombre children played quietly outside the home, while women, some in ANC T-shirts, gathered inside the small home consoling Dywili's mother, Nonzame.
ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said the candidate's death was heart-breaking and called on anyone who had information about Dywili's death to go to the police.
"People who get to know about plans hatched to kill our comrades and other members of society must report that information to the police so that police work is activated to stop these criminal elements."
It was difficult to only call on the police to investigate such matters when they knew there were people who knew the "heartless individuals that planned and carried out this murder”.
"Such crime is devastating. We don't need this evil in our society and in politics."
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