IFP member killed hours after peace talks

2012-11-21 00:00

HOURS after political parties held peace talks to prepare for by-elections on December 5, an IFP member was shot dead at kwaMashu hostel on Monday night.

Sihle Biyela (37), who was a ward chairperson and IFP Youth Brigade branch treasurer, was found dead at the hostel.

Earlier, hostel dwellers had gone on a rampage, protesting against the granting of bail to the son of an NFP leader accused of murdering another IFP member.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge said yesterday Biyela was found with multiple gunshot wounds.

“The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage. No arrest has been made,” Mdunge said.

Biyela’s death comes two weeks before by-elections are to be held in nearby Ward 39, amid tensions between the IFP and NFP following the killing of IFP councillor Themba Xulu at the hostel last month.

Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu said the killing came as a surprise because it followed a meeting of political leaders to develop a programme for free political campaigning towards the by-elections.

Mchunu appealed for calm and tolerance at the hostel, saying he was confident the police would find Biyela’s killers.

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala called on the police to protect the kwaMashu community, while NFP president Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi reiterated her call for the hostel to be searched for weapons.

She said the police should be positioned within the hostel premises instead of camping outside.

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