Three women killed outside KwaZulu-Natal school while ANC branch meeting under way inside

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Three women were killed and several were injured in a drive-by shooting at a school in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal where an ANC branch meeting was under way.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said a group of people were standing in front of the gate at Buhlebethu Primary School, Newtown C in Inanda, when the shooting occurred on Saturday.

"It is alleged that at this stage, a black Opel Corsa bakkie [containing] five occupants drove by the school. According to witnesses, the occupants of the vehicle opened fire at the group [using] handguns, before fleeing from the scene."

The three women who were killed were aged 34 to 60. Four women and a man aged 41 to 70, were injured.

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ANC spokesperson in the province, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, condemned the incident and called on police to hunt down the killers.

"This is a sad and unfortunate incident. It should not have happened, more so during ANC processes that were under way at the meeting. This is the first time such a terrible incident has happened while we work on completing our candidates lists. Most of our meetings proceeded without such senseless violence. We call on police to hunt down these cowards and bring them to book," he said on Sunday.

Premier Sihle Zikalala, condemned the incident saying it was "the work of thuggish elements that kill with impunity". 

"We must not allow them to find a place to hide in this province. The killings bear the hallmarks of a desperate effort to use intimidation and violence as a way of frustrating the will of the people and subvert our democracy."

He called on police to hunt down criminal elements "who thrive on such violence". 

"There is no election or vote that is worth the blood of our innocent citizens.  We call upon the community to unite and work with the police to expose those who seem to believe that winning an election or becoming a candidate must happen at all costs, even if it means jumping over the corpses of innocent people."

Inanda police are investigating three counts of murder and five of attempted murder.

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