‘I thank my ancestors for saving my life’

2016-10-10 12:17
Philani Shange (33), the deputy mayor of the Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality, points to the bullet holes left in his vehicle after he came under attack at the weekend.

Philani Shange (33), the deputy mayor of the Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality, points to the bullet holes left in his vehicle after he came under attack at the weekend. (Supplied)

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Philani Shange (33), the deputy mayor of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality, is very lucky to be alive.

Shange survived a hail of gunfire after his Isuzu vehicle came under attack on Saturday night as he arrived home in Bulwer.

According to Shange, he was driving from an ANC branch executive meeting held at ward 11 in Umzimkhulu to his home at Kwezela rural village in Bulwer.

The attack happened at around 9 pm.

Shange said he got out of his car to open a gate at his home when he noticed somebody hiding behind his vehicle. “As I opened the gate I heard the sound of gunfire. I ran towards my yard and I hid. The gunman continued shooting towards my home. The main house was left with six bullet holes and there are three holes in the vehicle,” said Shange.

He said the gunfire lasted almost five minutes and then all was quiet until the police arrived.

“My vehicle was still parked outside the gate until police arrived and rescued me. I believe the gunman wanted to kill me,” said Shange.

Shange said he left his vehicle engine running when he ran for his life to hide.

“It is hard to believe how I survived and although I don’t feel safe at all, I am not shaken. I will continue with my political work. What happened to me will not shift my focus as a leader of the municipality and the ANC,” said Shange after the incident.

“I thank my ancestors for saving my life,” he told The Witness.

This comes against the backdrop of recent killings of ANC members in the province.

The incident follows the emergence of divisions among ANC Harry Gwala regional executive committee members, which are said to have reached boiling point.

The tension is so bad it is believed to have resulted in certain members hiring private security companies to protect them day and night because they have received phone and SMS death threats.

Last month some regional executive committee members brought a vote of no confidence against their regional chairperson Zamo Nxumalo.

Harry Gwala region ANC secretary Sindie Msomi described the attempted murder of the deputy mayor as a barbaric act. She said they are worried because two weeks earlier, another shooting took place at the ANC regional offices and Harry Gwala District Municipality office in Ixopo, but no one was injured. She said the shooting happened during the night.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said a case of attempted murder has been opened at Bulwer and police are still busy with the investigation.

No one has been arrested.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  political killings

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