ANC activist gunned down

2019-02-14 16:02
PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images

PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images

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KwaPata residents near Imbali fear a resurgence of political violence following Tuesday’s killing of a prominent ANC member in the area.

“As residents we are very concerned about the political climate in our area — we currently live in fear as we are not sure who will be eliminated next,” Thando Shange, an ANC activist in the area said.

This after Mhlengi Khumalo, an SA Communist Party (SACP) member in the area, was gunned down by unknown people at his home on Tuesday night.

Khumalo, who was the secretary of former KwaPata ward councillor, Msizi Ngcobo, was also an active ANC member in the area.

Tensions within the ANC in KwaPata has been high since last year’s murder of another party activist, Musawenkosi “Maqatha” Mchunu, who was gunned down in May in his driveway.

ANC local councillor Nkosinathi “TK” Gambu is currently on trial for Mchunu’s murder.

Gambu, who is the nephew of Mgungundlovu District Deputy Mayor, Fucwana Zungu, has been in custody since September after the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court denied him bail.

The councillor’s extended prison stay is said to have sparked a race among local ANC members to replace him as Ward 10 councillor when a by-election is called.

A senior ANC member in the area told The Witness that about five prominent party members in KwaPata were already campaigning to be nominated as Gambu’s replacement.

“There are now several groups in the ANC wanting the local community to back certain people should by-elections be called.

“The campaigns have further divided the ANC in the area, with some community members being threatened with violence if they don’t support a particular individual,” the source said.

On Saturday, Mchunu’s ally, local ANC member Vusumuzi Sibiya, narrowly cheated death when unknown people opened fire on him at his home in KwaPata.

Sibiya, whose vehicle was set alight during the attack, is one of the ANC members who have expressed an interest in contesting for the ward councillor position should it be declared vacant due to Gambu’s absence.

The ANC in the Moses Mabhida Region said it was concerned about the latest attacks in KwaPata.

“We condemn these acts of violence — we are particularly concerned about the fact that these attacks are happening in an area that has been hit by violence before.

“As the ANC regional leadership we will be visiting the area to convey our condolences to the Khumalo family and also to assess the situation in KwaPata,” said ANC Regional Task Team (RTT) co-ordinator Mandla Zondi.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  political killings

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