Another councillor murdered

2009-06-27 00:00

THE need for a peace meeting between the IFP and ANC in Greytown is becoming more urgent following the murder of yet another councillor in the area.

Three councillors from both parties and an ANC family have been murdered recently.

Two IFP councillors and an ANC councillor were killed within the space of a month due to tensions between the parties.

The latest killing of another IFP councillor came on Thursday afternoon.

SA Police Service spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said Bernard Mzwana Mbatha, an IFP councillor in Makabeleni in Kranskop near Greytown, was shot and killed by unknown gunmen.

A motorist who was travelling on the road where Mbatha was killed alerted the police. Budhram said investigations at the scene led the police to believe that Mbatha was fired upon while he was travelling in his vehicle, which had bullet holes on the driver’s side.

“The deceased was 51 years of age. Expended 9mm and AK 47 cartridges were found on the scene,” said Budhram.

The incident is being investigated and a motive for the killing has not been established, added Budhram. Police appealed to anyone with information to contact Detective Captain Nalesh Maharaj of the Kranskop Detective Services at 082 411 6589 or on the office number, 033 444 1604.

Angry IFP supporters, including party stalwart David Ntombela, national organiser Albert Mncwango and IFP councillors from various municipalities, marched in Greytown’s centre before handing a memorandum to the police that linked the killings to political intolerance.

Outside the Umvoti Municipality offices, the mayor, Petros Ngubane, read out a memorandum to supporters. He said his party believes the recent events in Greytown are a clear indication that political intolerance is again on the rise in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mncwango said local leaders of both the ANC and IFP should sit down and iron out their differences. He accused the provincial government of a lack of political will to end the violence.

However, the ANC in the region has alleged that the IFP evaded peace talks earlier this week.

ANC chairman in the Bhambatha region, Philani Mavundla, said on Monday, the day the Sikhakhane family were killed, that a peace meeting was arranged between the ANC, IFP and SAPS.

“We waited for the IFP and the meeting ended up being cancelled and to our surprise that same day the Sikhakhane family was attacked,” he said.

Ntuthuko Ngcobo (IFP councillor),

Tony Malunga (ANC councillor),

Enock Sibongiseni Shange (IFP councillor — wounded), Agnes Ntombana Sikhakhane (ANC), Mfaniseni Nkomo (ANC), Phamela Anele Sikhakhane (ANC), Mbongeni Sikhakhane (ANC — wounded), and Bernard Mbatha (IFP).

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