2 dead as ANC, SACP tensions spill out onto the streets of Inchanga

File: AFP
File: AFP

Durban - Ongoing tensions between members of the South African Communist Party and African National Congress spilled out onto the streets of Inchanga, outside Durban, on Monday morning.

The area is a political hotspot and is also home to outgoing eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo.

A 40 year-old woman, who was a well-known SACP member, was shot and killed on Sunday afternoon, allegedly in full view of community members.

It is alleged that the woman was killed by a person aligned to the ANC.

In what was believed to be a revenge attack, a member of the ANC was shot and stoned to death on Monday morning, allegedly by SACP members.

Both the victims' names are known to News24, but they have been withheld until the families have been notified.

Police are on high alert in the area after several houses were set alight and commuters were left stranded as taxis and buses stopped operating after residents blockaded the roads with burning tyres in protest of the killings.

Living in fear

Inchanga's Ward 4 was highly contested in the lead up to the 2016 local government elections.

The ward was won by SACP aligned Malombo Nxumalo, an independent candidate who is also a relative of the outgoing mayor.

A 28-year-old unemployed woman living in Ward 4 told News24 that she was living in fear.

The woman, who has not been able to leave her house all morning because she was afraid, said: "The woman was shot in full view of other community members on Sunday afternoon. People saw and know who shot her."

The woman said the victim was shot near the community clinic and later died in hospital.

"Early this morning [Monday] buses could not take people to work and taxis were not available. Children did not go to school and people have not been able to go to work. Apparently several houses have been torched, but I am not sure because I have not left the house. I am scared to leave the house," she said.

Malombo Nxumalo, who was expected to be inaugurated as a councillor on Tuesday, claimed that the woman was scheduled to testify in the murder case of Phillip Dlamini, 69, who was killed during a public meeting at KwaNdokweni sports ground in Inchanga earlier this year.

The killing of Dlamini, along with Bongani Hlatshwayo, 38, deepened divisions between the ANC and the SACP in the area, News24 reported then.

Political intervention

At the time, the local SACP pulled out of preparations for the local government elections and called for a national intervention into the killings.

It was reported earlier that five men - Bafanyana Maxwell Shange, 42, Zamokwakhe Shozi, 38, Buka Shozi 44, Nhlanhla Majola, 44, and Mabhunu Madondo, 36 - were arrested for the killings and were out on R10 000 bail each.

Malombo Nxumalo said on Monday morning residents blockaded roads and burnt houses in the Panekeni and Ediphini areas.

"In the OR Tambo area, a known assassin was firing shots in the air and someone shot him and he was stoned to death. He died outside his house."

On the killing of the SACP member, Malombo Nxumalo alleged that on Sunday afternoon, there was an altercation between a man and one of Mayor James Nxumalo's bodyguards in the Mnike area, and a shot was fired.

Malombo Nxumalo said it was not yet clear what the alleged altercation was about but feared that the killings would continue. He pleaded for urgent political intervention.

"The situation is intense, police are monitoring the area. People are living in fear; you never know what is going to happen when the sun sets."

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