Mkondeni on edge following murder

2015-08-28 09:05
Bongani Mthalane, who was shot and killed by two unknown men on Tuesday night.

Bongani Mthalane, who was shot and killed by two unknown men on Tuesday night. (Supplied)

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THE execution-style shooting of a Mkondeni community leader on Tuesday has left the community shocked and fearing for their lives.

The 48-year-old Pietermaritzburg security guard, Bongani Mthalane, was shot in his home in front of his wife after two unknown men entered his house on Tuesday evening.

A resident, who would not be named for fear of victimisation, said the two men were seen by the community walking around and asking where Mthalane lived.

A few days prior to the shooting two unknown men driving a Toyota Corolla came looking for him and another community leader, who could not be named as she is in hiding.

On Tuesday it is believed that the two men first approached the house of the community member who is in hiding but left when they discovered she was not at home.

Mthalane and his community were recently evicted from Annidale Farm in Ashburton by Aqua Trading, and relocated to land in Mkondeni.

However, the new land was already privately owned and eviction notices were given.

Association for Rural Advancement (Afra) spokesperson Laurel Oettle said the matter was still pending in the courts.

“Mthalane was active in representing his community in the negotiations to find new land and houses in order to settle the dispute.

“He leaves his wife, Zanele Ndlovu and five children,” said Oettle.

She said community members were too afraid to speak for fear that they might be targeted by the shooters.

“Afra is deeply concerned about the safety of this very vulnerable community and what this assassination indicates.

“We are committed to supporting the community to resolve its housing and land needs as urgently as possible. The tragedy must provide an impetus to a speedy resolution of the land issue in a transparent and accountable manner.

“We expect the police will do everything in their power to resolve the case and to provide visible policing to the community, and to respond timeously to any further community concerns,” Oettle said.

The source, who could not be named, said Mthalane was a quiet, soft-spoken man who always approached a situation in a calm and rational manner.

SAPS Constable Mthokozisi Ngobese said they were investigating a case of murder and that no arrests have yet been made but that an “arrest was imminent”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder

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