Political killings in KZN continue, strongly condemned

2018-05-12 12:01
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

(PHOTO: Getty Images)

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A prominent African National Congress (ANC) activist and a municipal councillor from the Inkhata Freedom Party were gunned down in separate incidents in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) on Friday.

The attacks have again highlighted the ongoing political violence in the region and have been strongly condemned.

Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said the first incident occurred at 18:40 on the R66 King Dinuzulu Highway in Ulundi.

She said a 35-year-old man, later identified as IFP councillor, Sibuyiselo Dlamini, had been at a robot intersection when his vehicle was blocked by unknown assailants, who then opened fire on him.

"He sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was declared dead at the scene," she said.

Gwala said the second shooting took place shortly after at 19:00 at Pata area, Pietermaritzburg.

She said a 45-year-old man, later identified as ANC activist Musawenkosi Mchunu, had been pulling into his driveway, when he was ambushed by unknown suspects who fired several shots at him.

"He sustained multiple injuries and was rushed to hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries," Gwala said.

ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said Mchunu was the chairperson of the ANCYL in the Natal Midlands between 1996 and 1998.

"Due [to] his leadership skills after he finished his term, he was also re-elected ANCYL REC members from 1998-2000 and also elected ANC REC member," he said.

Mabe said Mchunu was deployed as a councillor in Ward 10 (KwaPata) of Umsunduzi Municipality in 2000-2011 and had been serving as Provincial Organising Secretary of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) at the time of his death.

Political killings condemned

Mabe said the ANC condemned the brutal, callous, and cold-blooded murder of politicians in KZN.

"As the leaders of the society, the ANC is dismayed and shocked at this evil deed in the province after losing three community leaders in less than a week. The ANC is severely pained by the continuous killing of community leaders in the province," he said.

On Monday, the ANC's Oshabeni branch treasurer at Ray Nkonyeni Municipality on the Lower South Coast Region, Sifiso Cele, was murdered in front of his family.

"We sincerely wish to express our deepest condolences to the families of the ANC and IFP leaders whose lives perished in [the] hands of the thugs," said Mabe.

Mabe said the ANC were appealing to the Minister of Police Bheki Cele to urgently intervene in the impending security crisis in KZN, as it was clear that there was a systematic elimination of political leaders to create doubt ahead of the next year's democratic elections.

Sanco national spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu appealed for calm and conveyed condolences the families of the two who were shot dead.

"The National Crime Prevention Stategy (NCPS) must be reviewed so that adequate resources are deployed to match the escalating senseless violence that has the potential to sow contention and destablise the region," stressed Mahlangu.

'Cowardly killing'

He said that the task team established to deal with the political assassinations and the Moerane commission process had not assisted to quell the killings.
 
"A reconfigured permanent unit to mount relentless pursuit of the masterminds behind the cowardly killing including the heartless killers carrying out the heinous and horrendous acts needs to be urgently established to tackle the scourge before more lives are lost in the run-up to the 2019 elections," he said.

Acting KZN police commissioner Bheki Langa appealed to the community to remain calm and share any valuable information with police.

"We strongly condemn the latest attacks last night in Pietermaritzburg and Ulundi where two people were ambushed by unknown suspects who fatally shot them. Both dockets have been assigned to the Political Violence Task Team that will investigate further," said Langa

"The motive for both attacks are still unknown and [have] yet to be established as investigations are continuing. Citizens can contact their local police station or Crime Stop on 08600 10111," he said.

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