Forensic expert to probe house fire that killed DA councillor

2016-09-25 22:06
George DA councillor for Ward 11 Lux Xesi, 50, who died in a house fire on Sunday morning. (Credit: Facebook)

George DA councillor for Ward 11 Lux Xesi, 50, who died in a house fire on Sunday morning. (Credit: Facebook)

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Cape Town – An investigation is underway into a fire that killed DA councillor Lulamile (Lux) Xesi in his house in George on Sunday morning.

Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato told News24 it was difficult to say at present whether Xesi's death was an accident or the result of something more malicious.

Initial information was that a paraffin stove apparently caught alight and may have been bumped over, he said.

Xesi, 50, a former ANC councillor, was elected head of Ward 11 after the local government elections in August.

The race for votes in the ward was extremely close. The DA got 47.95% support to the ANC’s 45.05%. The EFF obtained 3.1%.

Xesi leaves behind a wife and three children.

Asked if he was concerned about the fire being connected to politics, Plato replied, "We don’t know. We are waiting for the SA Police Service to shed light on the matter. One can only speculate".

He said he had been in contact with provincial police commissioner, Major General Khombinkosi Jula, on Sunday morning.

Officers would have to determine if this was true, and if so, who the stove belonged to and how the fire started.

"The police indicate they will send a forensic expert there to investigate."

Xesi's house burnt down

George municipality spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose said on Sunday that an investigation into the fire was under way.

Xesi served as an ANC councillor from 2000 to 2006. He joined the DA as a member and activist in 2013.

He played a key role in the DA winning that ward for the first time, said the party's chairperson of the province’s East Region, Jaco Londt. 

"The strides that the DA has made in Ward 11, specifically in places like Thembalethu, are largely owed to councillor Xesi's dedication and hard work. We will remember his legacy."

Londt said Xesi's house burnt down. They would closely monitor the police’s investigation.

The DA extended its condolences to his family and friends.

18 killed

George Mayor, Melvin Naik, expressed his shock at Xesi's death. He visited his widow Nolusapho and children Lathitha, Lukhanyo and Zintle, on Sunday morning.

Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said they valued each councillor and any of their deaths was a tragedy.

Political killings were rife in the run-up to elections. Several ANC candidates were murdered in KwaZulu-Natal.

Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane told Parliament last month that 18 people were killed in election-related cases.

DA Northern Cape councillor Johannes Baatjies was shot in the head and the upper body on the eve of being sworn in as a Kgatelopele municipality councillor after the August 3 elections. His business partner died in hospital. Four men, one an ANC councillor, were arrested in connection with their murders.

Read more on:    da  |  george  |  politics

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