Richmond still reeling from Sithole's murder

2017-03-09 10:17
Police are still on the  hunt for the murder of Richmond's municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole.

Police are still on the hunt for the murder of Richmond's municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - While police are still on the hunt for Richmond’s municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole’s killers, a memorial for the “selfless people’s servant” will be held on Thursday afternoon.

Sithole, described by many as a respected man and a gentleman, was shot four times by two unknown gunmen on Monday morning outside Richmond’s Richlea Primary School.

Sithole had left the municipal offices on Monday morning without his bodyguards to renew his driver’s licence when two men in a maroon Toyota Corolla opened fire on the unsuspecting municipal manager.

Richmond Mayor Joe Mchunu said on Wednesday that the municipality was still reeling in shock from the brutal murder of Sithole.

He said the municipality would hold a memorial for the late municipal manager at noon at the Richmond Agricultural Hall.

Mchunu said the municipality held a council meeting on Wednesday where he told municipal officials to stop speculating about the motive for Sithole’s death and to “stop talking among themselves in corridors”.

“Everyone is shocked and confused and everyone is worried,” he said.

Mchunu added that following Sithole’s murder, everyone appeared to be worrying over who would be next.

“We are working with police, looking at every avenue and hopefully an arrest will be made soon.”

Everyone scared

On Wednesday, while The Witness was at the mayor’s office, five policemen entered the building to speak to the mayor.

A municipal source who could not be named said everyone was scared following the shooting and said they “do not trust anyone”.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said no arrests had been made yet and the investigation was ongoing.

“The docket has been transferred to the Provincial Task Team for further investigation,” he said.

In addition to his position at the Richmond municipality as municipal manager, Sithole was also the treasurer of the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca).

Pietermaritzburg Sanca chairperson Sipho Godfrey Ngcobo said in a statement yesterday that the organisation was in mourning over “the senseless murder” of Sithole.

He said Sithole had served the Pietermaritzburg branch of the organisation “with diligence and with a deep sense of commitment to the work of dealing with substance abuse within our communities”.

“Staff and fellow board members are shocked and filled with despair at his senseless murder,” said Ngcobo.

'Civil servant with heart'

He said Sithole was not only an excellent administrator but a “civil servant with heart who believed in volunteerism and giving back to the community”.

“When approached in 2007 to serve on the Sanca board, he willingly agreed, despite his heavy workload.

“This would have been his 10th year of service to the organisation,” said Ngcobo.

“He managed Sanca’s finances with excellence and provided leadership in many areas.

“We will miss his guidance, his caring and the quiet, steady manner in which he steered our organisation.”

Institute for Local Government Management (ILGM) director Jean Venter also said in a statement that Sithole, a “loyal member of the ILGM”, was one of their “best municipal managers”.

“Sibusiso was one of the longest serving Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) members of the ILGM in KZN,” said Venter.

“Over the last four years of his life, he served as the provincial treasurer of the ILGM in KZN.

“During his tenure as the treasurer, the ILGM KZN obtained three consecutive clean audit opinions.

“In addition, he was one of our decorated municipal managers, having received two clean audits as well as regarded as the best municipal manager in the province in 2014.”

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