Murder of Durban regional secretary stokes ANC fears

2011-07-13 00:00

THERE are fears that the murder of the secretary of the biggest ANC region in the country is linked to tensions in the party.

eThekwini regional secretary Sibusiso Sibiya (46) was gunned down at his Inanda home on Monday evening after returning from an ANC meeting.

As condolences poured in for Sibiya from ANC leaders, the party’s alliance partners and opposition parties yesterday speculation was rife that political tensions linked to the nomination of election candidates have not subsided as the region heads for its elective conference in the last quarter of the year.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe said Sibiya was shot four times, once in the head and three times in the shoulder.

“His family heard the shots and ran into the driveway. By that time the suspects had fled. He died as his family managed to get to his side.”

A provincial political violence task team has been set up to investigate whether Sibiya’s death was politically related, Radebe said.

In March this year eThekwini ANC councillor Wiseman Mshibe was gunned down in a similar manner.

Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu said the method used in both killings was exactly the same. “It’s very difficult to say what we are looking at, but police are looking at something,” he said.

Sources within the tripartite alliance are not ruling out political links to Sibiya’s murder.

Speaking to The Witness, sources in the labour federation, Cosatu, and the SA Communist Party who declined to be named, said indications were that Sibiya would be elected chairperson of the region, likely uncontested, as the majority of the branches favoured him.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa visited the family and told them he is confident the police will apprehend the suspect. Provincial ANC and alliance leaders visited Sibiya’s home yesterday to offer their condolences.

KZN ANC secretary Sihle Zikalala said the party is shocked and saddened by Sibiya’s death. He refused to be drawn on whether the killing was politically linked.

“Sibusiso rose from the ranks of the ANC Youth League to become a senior leader in the ANC …” he said.

He was elected regional secretary in 2008 after serving as a councillor from 2000.

Cosatu KZN secretary Zet Luzipho said Sibiya’s murder was an act of cowardice. “Sbu was a true servant of the people who had absolute hatred of corrupt practices …”

Former Young Communist League national deputy secretary Khaye Nkwanyana said it is likely that Sibiya was killed by “tenderprenuers” because he was “a headache to those who used their political positions to get or influence tender processes”.

eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo said Sibiya made a tremendous contribution towards ensuring that the municipality succeeds in its mandate to deliver services.

The Inkatha Freedom Party and Cope also expressed their shock at Sibiya’s murder.

Radebe said that a murder case docket has been opened and no arrests have been made.

Any person who may have information about the identity of the suspects is asked to call Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

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