KZN premier's bodyguard shot and killed

2015-07-20 16:09
(File, Shutterstock)

(File, Shutterstock)

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Durban - A bodyguard working in KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu’s security detail was shot dead in Empangeni on Friday night.

KZN police spokesperson, Major Thulani Zwane, said Xolani Nkosi’s bullet-riddled body was discovered at around 20:30 on Friday night.

“A 24-year-old male was found with multiple gunshot wounds all over the body at Inkomo Street, Dumisane Makhaye village,” said Zwane, adding that the motive of the killing was not known at this stage.  

“Empangeni police are investigating a case of murder and no arrest has been made at this stage,” he said.

A bodyguard who knew Nkosi and asked not to be named said, “He was being followed. We think that they wanted to kill Senzo’s nephew because Xolani was driving a state vehicle that was being used by him [the nephew], a VW Amarok.

“There was another guy in the car with him [Nkosi] when the incident happened. The killers shot at him and he was hit on the hand; luckily he managed to run away.

“People are saying it has something to do with uThungulu deputy mayor Thulani Mashaba’s death but we don’t know,” he said.

The source said Mchunu was in Richards Bay on Friday visiting Mashaba’s family and Nkosi was part of the security detail that day.

“The premier left for Durban that afternoon [Friday] because he had other engagements. Xolani stayed behind. I think he went to go see a friend when the incident happened,” said the source.

Another source told News24, “Xolani was from Nongoma, Abaqulusi region. This guy who was in the car with him said the killers called him by name. They said, ‘Nkosi, unjani? How are you Nkosi?’ Then they shot him and fled.”

Political killings

Meanwhile, Premier Senzo Mchunu said he was "saddened" by Nkosi's death. “I’m personally touched and saddened by his untimely death. We pray with his family during this very difficult time.

“Nkosi has been one of the important members of staff in the Office of the Premier. It is very sad as we communicate this news of his passing. It is a sad day in the Office of the Premier,” he said.

“While we cannot imagine the pain and the suffering endured by Nkosi’s family, relatives and friends, we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” Mchunu said.

Political analyst Protas Madlala said he feared political killings in KZN may get worse as next year's local government elections draw closer.

“One hopes that these are just isolated incidences. The killings usually happen when parties draw up lists for new leadership,” said Madlala.

"Many years ago when [President Jacob] Zuma was still the MEC in KZN, he said something very profound which has proved prophetic. Zuma said ‘The ANC’s main enemy is within'; this is exactly what is happening now.

“They lost the Western Cape because there was infighting and they could lose KZN if they carry on like this. The ANC used to pride itself with KZN but today that is not the case,” said Madlala.

He said political killings in the province appear to be on the rise. Madlala warned the divisions in the ANC were going to cost the party.

“There is a dark cloud hanging over the ANC, even the alliance is falling apart. People are jostling for positions, it’s bad,” he said.

Read more on:    senzo mchunu  |  durban  |  crime

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