Councillor shot dead

2017-09-01 13:45
ANC colleagues visited the home of Kwazikwakhe Mkhize at Nkanyezini, Cato Ridge, on Thursday after his murder. INSET: Councillor Kwazi Mkhize.

ANC colleagues visited the home of Kwazikwakhe Mkhize at Nkanyezini, Cato Ridge, on Thursday after his murder. INSET: Councillor Kwazi Mkhize. (Nokuthula Khanyile/Facebook)

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PoliticL killings continue unabated in KwaZulu-Natal as another ANC ward councillor was shot and killed in Nkanyezini, Cato Ridge, on Wednesday night.

Kwazikwakhe Mkhize (35), who was the ward 3 councillor in Mkhambathini Municipality, was shot several times by an unknown assailant outside the Nkanyezi Community Hall after an extended branch executive meeting.

It is alleged that the assailant, who was waiting outside the hall, shot Mkhize in the back as he was walking out of the property.

oN Thursday, a delegation of the ANC regional executive committee, which included Moses Mabhida region general secretary Mzi Zuma and uMgungundlovu District mayor Thobekile Maphumulo, visited the Mkhize homestead.

Zuma said the region had suffered a huge loss.

“The ANC strongly condemns the killing of councillors in our province. It is act of barbarism to kill public representatives and such murders undermine the development of our people.”

He called on the police to spare no efforts to bring the perpetrators to book.

“The frequency of such cases in our region is disturbing. The increase can be attributed to the fact that in recent cases perpetrators manage to dodge the law. This sends wrong signals and carries the danger of giving perpetrators the impression that the judiciary does not take such cases seriously,” he said.

A family representative, Silindile Bhengu, said they believe the murder was a factional ANC hit.

“He [Kwazi] was receiving threats since he took over the reins as ward councillor. There are people within this ward who wanted to remove him from the position.”

Bhengu said Mkhize was told in no uncertain terms that he would be killed.

“He [Kwazi] was told he will not last three months in the position. He told the family about the threats he was receiving but we all thought it was just threats. Often he said he noticed he was being followed when he was driving to attend municipal meetings in Camperdown.”

Bhengu said Mkhize’s murder had left the entire family shattered.

“He was one of the two people in the house bringing in an income. Our hearts are broken. Why are people so cruel? Why would they kill him like this?”

Bhengu described Mkhize as a very quiet person who did not hold grudges.

“He looked out for everyone in the community. There were days when he neglected his family to care for the community. He was a born leader, very passionate about service delivery.”

Mkhize, who resigned as a training adviser at Boston College in 2014, joined local government that year. He has also served as a branch secretary of the ANCYL in the region.

In a statement, the ANCYL in the region raised their concerns over the killing of young ruling party deployees in the province.

“This observation is very worrying ... because we believe that youth is the future of this nation. An attack on the youth is an attack on the future our nation,” read the statement.

The statement added that they would continue to advocate for the deployment of young comrades.

The attack came as the Moerane Commission is probing a spate of political killings in the province.

Mkhize becomes the fourth ANC councillor in the Moses Mabhida region to be killed since the start of 2017.

In March, Richmond municipal manager S’bu Sithole was gunned down outside the Richmond police station. A month later deputy mayor Thandazile Phoswa was shot dead at her home also in Richmond, and in June ward councillor Sfiso Mkhize was also murdered.

KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube described the killing as a “moment of darkness for our province”.

“This tragic death of yet another servant of the community confirms that there are indeed clandestine forces who want to undermine the democratic will of the people. There is clearly an agenda to create a blanket of fear and insecurity in our communities through these attacks on their leaders,” said Dube-Ncube.

She called on the police to do everything in their power to root out the evils of crime and violence faced by local government public representatives.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  political killings

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