Slain councillor was a visionary - ANC

2013-08-12 22:27
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Slain KwaZulu-Natal councillor Makhosonke Msibi was a "visionary and hard-working" leader, the ANC said on Monday.

"Comrade Msibi, 48, was one of the comrades who recruited thousands of members for the ANC in Ulundi since he joined our movement.

"We have lost a person who ensured that the ANC was on course to emerge as the dominant force in the area, generally and in particular at the next election in Nongoma," said provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala.

Msibi was the branch chairperson of the ANC in Ulundi. He was shot dead on Sunday.

KwaZulu-Natal police said a man shot him several times at his home.

"We can confirm that an ANC councillor was shot dead at his home on Sunday at 19:00," police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge said.

He said a man knocked at the door soon after the councillor had returned home from a meeting in Nongoma. His son opened the door and a man asked to see the councillor.

"The man fired shots at him when he emerged. He tried to run into his bedroom but it was too late... he suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was declared dead at the scene."

He said the motive for the shooting was not known and no arrest had been made. A case of murder was opened.

Political killings

Zikalala said political killings were an indication of political bankruptcy and immaturity among those who had been rejected by the people of the province.

"The perpetrators should learn from history. These acts simply serve to make us even more determined to entrench full democracy and free political activity throughout KwaZulu-Natal."

He said Msibi was shot dead barely hours after he had returned from a ceremony welcoming hundreds of new members from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the National Freedom Party (NFP) in Nongoma.

KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube said she was saddened by the councillor's murder.

"We are deeply saddened by the brutal killing of one of the committed and tireless servants in the field of local government in the province," she said in a statement.

"We do not know the cause and the motive. We are, however, worried that the killing of councillors is becoming a disturbing trend, noting that it is not happening for the first time," she said.

"If this cowardly use of violence was carried out with the intention to subvert the will of the people it will not succeed."

Political tolerance

Zululand District Municipality mayor and NFP president Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi called on police to arrest those involved in the killing of Msibi.

"I call on police to investigate and arrest the perpetrators, as we do not want our province to be involved in political violence once again. It is worrying when political leaders are getting killed especially when electioneering intensifies."

KaMagwaza-Msibi is not related to the slain councillor.

She also called for political tolerance in the area ahead of the national elections next year.

"I call on the people of Zululand to practice political tolerance as the 2014 elections campaign intensifies... We know the terrible pain that came with political violence and we don't want our province to experience that painful past again," she said.

The ANC Youth League said Msibi's death was a great loss to the people of Ulundi and the ANC.

"To us, comrade Msibi was not only a leader, but also a father, and for him to be gunned down in a senseless manner like this in his home where he was supposed to be safe is really disheartening," said Nontembeko Boyce, convenor of the provincial task team.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it was shocked and angered at the murder of Msibi.

"The use of murder, and issuing death threats, to resolve political disputes is absolutely repulsive and a grave threat to our democracy," said spokesperson Patrick Craven.

"The practice [political killings] must be stamped out, and the maximum sentences imposed on all those found guilty."

Read more on:    nfp  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  ancyl  |  ifp  |  zanele kamagwaza-msibi  |  nomusa dube  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics  |  elections 2014

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