KZN politician 'received death threats'

2012-07-02 10:08

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal politician Wandile Mkhize, who was gunned down outside his Manaba home on Saturday night, had warned police that he was receiving death threats.

However, the threats - delivered in person and over the phone - had not been taken seriously, his friends said on Sunday as they planned his funeral.

Mkhize, 34, had been home for less than an hour after returning from the ANC’s policy conference, held in Johannesburg last week, when he was killed.

At the conference he led ANC delegates in songs praising President Jacob Zuma and was at the front when Zuma’s supporters faced off against those of ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe at the Gallagher Estate venue.

Mkhize, chief whip in the Ugu District Municipality, returned to his Manaba home, near Margate, on Saturday night.

Unity in the ANC

ANC South Coast regional secretary Mzwandile Mkhwanazi was one of the last people to see Mkhize alive.

“I dropped him off around 22:00. We had just got back from the conference.

“The way he was speaking at the conference, it was as if he knew it was his last conference.

“He was dynamic and he pushed forward his views.”

Mkhwanazi, who had known Mkhize for over eight years, said his comrade, who was dead 30 minutes later, had emphasised the need for unity in the ANC.

“His beliefs were driven by unity. He pushed for unity and I will make sure that I take his philosophy forward.

“It is a very hurtful time for all of us in the party, but we are urging the public and members of the party to let the law take its course.

“We cannot speculate about his murder; we need to respect the law that we have set in place.”

Mkhize’s brother, Nkosi, said he was convinced that the murder was politically motivated.

“Those people who killed him just sat there and waited for him to come home and then they opened fire and fled.”

Nkosi said Mkhize and a friend, Nhlakanipho Shabane, went out to buy dinner after returning from the conference.

“They arrived back at Wandile’s house and when they got out of the car, they were fired on.”

Mkhize died at the scene while Shabane was seriously wounded.

Threats reported to police

Sources told The Witness that Mkhize had received threats and reported them to Margate police.

But Nkosi said the family was unaware of such threats.

One source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mkhize had approached the police after receiving threats.

“It is true that Wandile approached the police, not once, but several times,” he said.

“It is worrying that they’re now saying he never reported them.

“He used to get phone calls, and sometimes they would be face-to-face,” he said.

Another source said that Mkhize had asked for police protection.

However, police spokesperson Captain Gerald Mfeka said that no entry regarding death threats had been made at Margate police station.

“Every time someone reports something to the police, an entry is made in the system. If there is no entry, it means that it was never reported,” Mfeka said.

Two sources at Margate police station, however, said Mkhize had reported the death threats, but they were not taken seriously.

The Witness was unable to speak to Margate police station management about the matter on Sunday.

Death a 'great tragedy'

The ANC also expressed shock.

“Comrade Mkhize’s demise is a great tragedy and the loss is not suffered only by his family but the entire movement,” said spokesperson Bongani Mthembu.

Mkhize, hailed as a visionary and a leader who inspired transformation, grew up at kwaNzimakwe, outside Margate. He started his political career at the University of Zululand, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in administration, and later joined ANC structures in the lower South Coast.

He rose to become regional secretary of the ANC Youth League in the area and a member of the party’s regional executive committee.

Mkhize had contested the position of ANCYL secretary general last year, but lost out to the suspended Sindiso Magaqa.

At the time of his death, he was an executive committee member of the ANC on the South Coast and a member of the regional working committee.

Mkhwanazi said the ANCYL in the region had twice won the party’s Anton Lembede award for the best performing ANCYL branch in the country under Mkhize’s leadership.

Mayor Cynthia Mqwebu said Mkhize’s passing was a great loss to the Hibiscus Coast community.

She appealed for calm while the shooting was investigated.

Mkhize is survived by six children aged between 2 and 7.

Arrangements are being made for a funeral on Saturday.

  • msibi.zenzele - 2012-07-02 10:52

    Very Said News,Hope The Police Will Investigate And Do By All Means To Find The Killers...May His Soul RIP.

  • msibi.zenzele - 2012-07-02 10:52

    Very Sad News,Hope The Police Will Investigate And Do By All Means To Find The Killers...May His Soul RIP.

      henry.bosman.5 - 2012-07-02 11:50

      Another pigs turn at the trough. Who ever becomes next chief wip is probably the culprit,the police will do nothing against anc members,deployed cadres and all.

  • lulama - 2012-07-02 10:55

    RIP comrade, hope U were killed for doing good things not bad things.

      mihaip007 - 2012-07-02 12:32

      wow dude - that is NOT enticing anyone to become good people - I mean if you do good, you get shot! WOW hahahaha! and if he got killed for doing bad things, then what does that mean about the course of the law? Comrade you need to use your brains before you comment in a manner that makes no sense to a good citizen of South Africa. all in all, whoever get shot in a mafia style, then it is obvious - he was involved in terrible things!

  • Mambotho - 2012-07-02 10:58

    Gosh is this the freedom we all fought for, where people are gunned down for their political views within the same party nogal. So is this what has become of the once great and respected ANC? Is the party really not able to have two opposing views without bloodshed? Is this what people like Chris Hani and Steve Biko and so many others died for? They must all be turning in their graves at this. I'm deeply disturbed!

  • hannes.vanwyk.9 - 2012-07-02 11:05

    Sad day when the police dont even respond to members of the ruling party. We as normal citizens have have become used to it, can we offer you Chubb's telephone number?

  • gavin.lott.9 - 2012-07-02 11:06

    I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it!

  • rdnaidoo - 2012-07-02 11:18

    lets just not take threats seriously and go on another smoke break. The SAPS are not protecting and must be labeled as accessories to murder if they don't act on citizens who report such things.

  • marion.friedenthal - 2012-07-02 11:31

    'We can't do anything unless someone does something to you' is the mantra according to what I have heard. Sorry to hear this. RIP and condolences to your loved ones. Does anyone know what criteria News24 uses when deciding to close articles for comment? Numerous articles closed for comment with only about 30-40 comments this morning.

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-02 11:36

      @Marion, I would love to know that criteria as well.

  • wallace.outkast - 2012-07-02 11:39

    Africa!, when will we rise up and build love for each other, and unite against poverty our best enemy , that's where we should show our strength...

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-02 11:43

      greed and selfishness are the main reasons we will hardly see that "promised land"

  • marion.friedenthal - 2012-07-02 11:45

    @Alicia - let's not forget 'Winnie' and Stompie...

  • Charms - 2012-07-02 12:56

    Ja...this is the country we live in ne..!! It is a great pity when reported threats dont get acted upon...our farmers are threatend daily from ANC podiums out in the open where everyone can hear these threats and still it falls on deaf ears....They are murdered almost everyday...and still no one listens or act....makes one wonders doesnt it?

  • Blackdude80 - 2012-07-02 13:48

    At the age of 34,he had 6 children.....age between 2 and 7. Hayi bo!! Condolenses to the family thou.

      mbusawm - 2012-07-07 10:39

      Mind your own business wena, Let the one without sin cast the stone First, that was his private life, you guys keeps on harboring hatred for my people. To be white does not mean that your saints, because we are in this struggle because of your forefathers who began this.

  • elkita.robbertse - 2012-07-02 14:28

    Our farmers never got warnings or death threats.

  • mandilakhe.nompehle - 2012-07-02 14:45

    If you wanna live, forget SAPS.... Otherwise they are just toothless dogs allied with criminals....\r\n\r\nIf you have a way, kill your enemy first....

  • ECONOMIC.FREEDOM.FIGHTER - 2012-07-04 07:38

    its a great loss to our country and to his family. may his soul rest in peace.

  • mbusawm - 2012-07-07 10:31

    It saddens me me that we have people who call themselves South African citizens who are making Mockery of our Sadness, you are a disgrace in the eyes of God. Mbusi Mfeka

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