IFP ward councillor killed in ambush

2009-05-26 00:00

AN IFP ward councillor in the party-led Umvoti (Greytown) Municipality was killed along with one of his passengers in an ambush yesterday allegedly linked to political intolerance between the IFP and the ANC in the area.

Ward nine councillor Ntuthuko Ngcobo (46), who was also the council whip, was shot and killed while travelling in his car carrying passengers on the Entembisweni Main Road yesterday afternoon by unknown gunmen clad in camouflage uniforms. One of the passengers, Hlekisile Gwala (28), died at the scene. Seven other passengers sustained injuries while trying to flee.

IFP members who wished to remain anonymous told The Witness that Ngcobo “died at the hands” of the ANC.

Umvoti Municipality Mayor Petros Ngubane said that there are plots to “wipe out” IFP councillors in the province ahead of the 2011 Local Government Elections.

Ngubane said that they were made aware of a plot to kill IFP councillors in IFP-led municipalities around Easter time and ever since, councillors have been warned to be extra careful and not to travel at night.

He said that on Saturday, he spoke to Ngcobo and they were discussing the plots against IFP councillors and warned him to be careful.

“If God spares my life, all shall be revealed soon. We [the IFP] might reveal what we know and the people planning to kill us at his [Ngcobo’s] funeral,” said Ngubane.

He declined to reveal his alleged information to The Witness, saying that he does not want to jeopardise the investigation.

Police spokesman Superintendent Henry Budhram said that Ngcobo was on his way home from Greytown when he stopped on the main road in Entembisweni to give a lift to eight farm workers, all women, in his Toyota Hilux bakkie.

Budhram said it is alleged that all the ladies climbed onto the bakkie and as the vehicle drove off, two men emerged from the side of the road, which is a forest, and opened fire on the vehicle, seriously wounding Ngcobo, and Gwala.

“Ngcobo continued to drive to get out of the firing line, when approximately 200 metres further the vehicle lost control and came to a halt in the nearby bushes. Ngcobo had lost consciousness and died a short while later. He had sustained gunshot wounds to the body. (Gwala) also died on the scene,” said Budhram.

He said the remaining passengers sustained injuries as they tried to alight from the moving vehicle during the attack.

Budhram said a motorist in a white Toyota Corolla who was travelling in the same direction witnessed the shooting and stopped to assist, but the gunmen also opened fire at his vehicle, wounding him and his 60-year-old mother, who was in the vehicle with him. Both were rushed to hospital with serious gunshot wounds.

“Investigations (have) established that the gunmen were wearing camouflage uniforms and were armed with rifles believed to be of AK 47 calibre. Several expended AK 47 cartridges were found on the scene,” said Budhram. He added that the motive for the shooting is unknown.

Meanwhile, Ward Councillor Divas Mncwabe of Magabeni Township in Umkomaas was allegedly shot and his car set alight by unknown men on Friday. Police spokesman, Captain Vincent Pandarum said that Mncwabe was returning home from a meeting in Umgababa in a silver BMW when he came under attack on the old Magabheni Road. “As he slowed down to go over a speed hump, he noticed two unknown men armed with guns, on the side of the road. They began firing at his vehicle and he sped off, but lost control of the car,” said Pandarum.

Mncwabe, said Pandarum, got out of his car and ran towards a river as his attackers approached the car and continued firing. A case of attempted murder has been opened.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.