Slain bodyguard shot at before

2017-11-09 10:55
The door of the car in which the Msunduzi Speaker’s bodyguard, Mhlabunzima Bruce Mngoma, was shot multiple times in Caluza on Wednesday.

The door of the car in which the Msunduzi Speaker’s bodyguard, Mhlabunzima Bruce Mngoma, was shot multiple times in Caluza on Wednesday. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - The slain bodyguard of Msunduzi’s Speaker survived what his family believe was another hit just eight months ago.

The family of Mhlabunzima Bruce Mngoma revealed on Wednesday that he had escaped unscathed in March when a suspect, who the family said was known to them, had opened fire at Mngoma.

“The man who pulled the trigger was never arrested. We do not know what the motive of the shooter was because prior to the shooting, there were no grudges between him and us as the family,” said a family member who asked not to be named.

Mngoma is related to slain former Mooi Mpofana chief financial officer Simo Mncwabe, who was shot dead last year amidst a tumultuous local government election councillor candidate nomination process.

“It worries me that we are losing family members in such a short space of time from the barrel of a gun. We keep asking ourselves, who is next?”

Mngoma had worked as a bodyguard for two years.

“I saw him this morning and we chatted as usual. He did not give any indication that his life was in danger. I was shocked to receive a call later to tell me that he had been shot. We are still looking for answers on what led to this shooting.”

The family members revealed that Mngoma was planning to get married, on a date yet to be communicated.

He leaves behind three children.

- Read more: KZN municipal speaker's bodyguard killed

The distraught Msunduzi Speaker Jabu Ngubo said she was at a loss for words on Wednesday.

“I trust God will help give us strength to go through this,” she said, before declining to comment further, saying she was still fragile.

IFP caucus leader Thinasonke Ntombela said the shooting of Mngoma had come at a “inconvenient time”.

“It comes at the time when there are rumours that there are attempts to remove the Msunduzi Speaker. It also comes at a time when the ANC is going to an elective conference,” he said.

“What is worrying is that there are rumours that bodyguards employed by the municipality are involved in ANC squabbles that are playing out in branch general meetings. We do not know if Mngoma was in any ANC factions.

“For a long time, it seemed like these political killings were only concentrated in Richmond but now it looks like they are becoming the norm in Msunduzi.”

DA provincial deputy leader Mergan Chetty called for speedy arrests. He speculated that this could be a “political signal” that was being sent.

ANC regional spokesperson Spha Khumalo referred all queries to Msunduzi Municipality.

Although police, family and Msunduzi said they did not know the motive behind the killing, the rumour mill was kept busy by ANC sources.

While some speculated that the hit was intended to send a message to Ngubo, others believe the killing is related to the 2016 local government candidate selection process.

The selection of the ANC ward 12 councillor candidate attracted community protests at the time.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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