NFP?branch leader raped and murdered

2013-11-06 00:00

WHEN the National Freedom Party (NFP) ward 4 deputy branch chairperson in Ulundi, Sphumelele Buthelezi, left her home on Monday evening, her family had no idea it would be the last time they would see her.

Buthelezi (36) was later found shot in the head and chest, and the family suspects that she was also raped.

NFP leader Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi yesterday urged police to quickly find those responsible for Buthelezi’s murder.

“We are worried that the murder of political leaders, if unresolved, might spark off political violence, as the 2014 elections campaign intensifies. We are also worried because, at this time last year, our branch chairperson from the same branch, Themba Jiyane, was also shot dead. Up to this day his murderers have never been brought to book,” said KaMagwaza Msibi in a statement.

She said her party members were worried that “some people were out on a campaign to eliminate our leaders to weaken our election campaigns in some areas”.

“My deepest condolences go to the Buthelezi family. I also call for calm from our members in the area and to allow the police investigation to take its course,” KaMagwaza Msibi said.

Buthelezi’s younger sister, Nonhlahla, said she had left home for a spaza shop in the area at about 9 pm.

The mother of six children (the eldest child is aged 15 years and the youngest aged seven months) was found naked at about 11 pm, not far from her home.

“She said she was rushing to the spaza shop to buy something to cook, and that’s the last time we saw her alive,” said the distraught 26-year-old Nonhlanhla.

People in the neighbourhood had told them that her sister was dead.

“After hearing the bad news, we rushed to the scene. My sister was lying on the dirt road. She was naked, with a bullet wound to the head,” she said.

Nonhlanhla said her sister had been robbed in the area two months ago.

The matter was not reported to the police, she said.

The ANC appealed for calm in the area. Party spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said: “We call for the speedy arrest of whoever is responsible for this murder, so as to understand the reason behind this brutality. Our condolences go to the family and the NFP.”

Meanwhile, the IFP has called for community members to assist the police in catching criminals. Party spokesperson Blessed Gwala cautioned party leaders from “spreading wild allegations without facts”.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the motive for the murder was unknown and that no arrests had been made.

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