Attempt to kill DA leader was ‘politically motivated’

2017-08-20 00:00

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The DA is expected to dig deep into its pockets to ensure the safety of Kingsol Chabalala as friends, family and colleagues worry that the people who shot him will return to finish him off.

Chabalala is a DA member of the provincial legislature in Gauteng.

It has been widely speculated that the shooting last week was politically motivated.

The Emfuleni north constituency head remains in intensive care at an undisclosed hospital after he was shot three times in front of his wife and their daughter (5) outside their home in the Vaal last Thursday.

His family told City Press that the third shot, which hit him between the neck and shoulder, was fired after one of the attackers remarked in Sesotho that “this guy is not dead” while searching through his pockets.

The gunmen took his cellphone and identity documents, and left him for dead at the bloodied entrance to his home.

His brother, Shakes, does not believe the incident was simply a violent mugging.

He is suspicious because the gunmen left about R9 000 scattered around Chabalala’s bleeding body.

“It is not a random mugging or crime because the money would have been taken, but it wasn’t ... To have R9 000 left untouched leaves a lot of questions,” he said.

Shakes said he suspected that the last shot was probably meant for his brother’s head and the shooter intended to kill Chabalala.

“Fortunately, the bullet hit him just between his neck and shoulder,” he said.

Shakes said that, since the attack, his brother had not been left alone. City Press has also learnt that the DA has beefed up security at the hospital.

The case has been escalated to the provincial police. No arrests have yet been made.

"The stakes are high"

Shakes added that, while he was not pointing fingers, his brother had been on the warpath over the past few months, exposing corruption in the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

“If you were to read his statements over the past months, you would be convinced that [the shooting] was politically motivated,” he said.

This was echoed by the DA leader in Gauteng, John Moodey, who pointed out that Chabalala was instrumental in unearthing information and raising the alarm on maladministration and corruption amounting to millions of rands.

“Implicated in much of the corruption and maladministration unearthed is Emfuleni mayor Simon Mofokeng,” he said.

Chabalala led a call in May for Mofokeng’s removal for allegedly spending more than R1.7m on KFC, Nando’s and expensive hotels.

He charged that the luxurious lifestyle was in contrast to residents’ poor living conditions.

He also called for an investigation into payments made by the municipality for guards at Mofokeng’s private guest house.

Mofokeng has condemned the attack on his opponent. He said he wished Chabalala a speedy recovery.

He also lauded Chabalala for being vocal on service delivery issues, which he said made the council a vibrant and progressive establishment.

Meanwhile, Moodey said the DA hoped the police would thoroughly investigate who was behind the murder attempt.

The party asked the provincial police commissioner and legislature to provide the family with protection – a process that could take three weeks to complete.

“This is the political climate as we approach 2019. The stakes are high, and we can expect an increase of intimidation and acts of violence,” Moodey warned.

Meanwhile, the municipality is struggling to meet its financial obligations and has had a 20% cut in water supply because of nonpayment to Rand Water.

Its failure to pay Eskom could see the municipality plunged into darkness come October 3.

The municipality owes Eskom R194.9m, part of which has been outstanding since April 20.

Emfuleni is one of three municipalities that make up the Sedibeng district, along with Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark.

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