Third man held for killing of ANC leaders

2012-10-08 21:42
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Durban - Police said on Monday a third man has been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of two ANC branch leaders in September.

Colonel Jay Naicker said the 32-year old man was arrested in Bloemfontein and was expected to appear in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

ANC branch secretary Bheki Chiliza, 39, and chairperson Dumisani Malunga, 42, were shot dead while driving in the Oshabeni area at 21:30 on 16 September.

Samuel Cele, 34, and Sifiso Khumalo, 31, were arrested the next day.

Khumalo pleaded guilty to the shooting and was sentenced by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg to 22 years for the murder of Dumisani Malunga.

In an explanation of plea read to the court, Khumalo claimed that Cele had arranged for a hitman to kill Malunga.

However, unbeknown to them, the hitman found Malunga and Chiliza together and decided to kill them both.

On Monday, Naicker declined to confirm whether the third man arrested, from the Boboyi area of Port Shepstone, was the hitman.

Meanwhile, political parties have condemned the kidnapping and killing of an IFP councillor in KwaMashu at the weekend.

"KwaZulu-Natal alone witnesses political assassination almost every year and this tendency must be condemned in the strongest possible terms as senseless acts of violence only foment further violence," Democratic Alliance councillor Zwakele Mncwango said on Monday.

Inkatha Freedom Party councillor Themba Xulu was abducted from his home in KwaMashu's A-Section on Friday, allegedly by five men posing as policemen.

His body was discovered in an area known as eTafulene, near Durban, on Sunday.

Mncwango said the DA was concerned about the increase in political killings in the province.

"The death of any councillor is so unnecessary and is illustrating yet again how intolerant our society has become," he said.

Colonel Jay Naicker said people collecting mushrooms discovered Xulu's body and alerted the police.

Xulu sustained multiple gunshot wounds and his body appeared to show early signs of decomposition, Naicker said.

Congress of the People spokesperson Graham McIntosh said Xulu's killing was a concern because it was well-planned and indicated political intolerance.

"Cope strongly believes that political tolerance must be a pillar and strength of any democratic nation. We also need to examine our justice system so that we develop proper punishment for people who participate in premeditated murders."

National Freedom Party president Zanele Magwaza-Msibi appealed to the police to speed up investigations into the killings at the hostel.

"We call on police to conduct raids at the hostel as it is clear that there are arms caches hidden there to fan these ongoing political killings."

She said more police needed to be deployed at the hostel.

"We also call on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to put a permanent mobile police station [there] to monitor the situation, as failure to do so might see political violence returning to the hostel."

Three NFP members were recently shot dead at the hostel, she said.

The NFP was formed prior to the 2011 local government elections when former IFP national chair Magwaza-Msibi left the party.

- SAPA
Read more on:    nfp  |  cope  |  da  |  anc  |  ifp  |  zanele magwaza-msibi  |  durban  |  politics
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