MANDENI traditional leader, Inkosi Linda Mathonsi, was shot and killed in front of his daughter during a drive-by shooting near the Sundumbili Library on Monday evening.
Fifty-eight-year-old Mathonsi was shot in the head and neck at around 6pm while travelling with his daughter, who also sustained a gunshot wound to her arm.
According to KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, the father and daughter were travelling in the Chappies area of Sundumbili when a car drove up next to theirs and an occupant began shooting at them.
“The deceased was travelling with his daughter along Inembe Road about to reach his house when he stopped to talk to a friend. While talking he noticed a vehicle, a silver grey Mercedes-Benz with three occupants. One suspect got out of the vehicle and fired numerous shots at Mathonsi while he was in his vehicle.
“He sustained gunshots wounds to his neck and head and was pronounced dead on the scene,” Mbhele said.
According to IPSS Medical Rescue paramedics who responded, Mathonsi died on the scene and his daughter was taken to hospital for treatment.
Police are investigating a case of murder and attempted murder.
The motive for the murder is still unknown, however, many are speculating that the incident was an assassination.
In a statement issued to the press, Mandeni Mayor Siphesihle Zulu condemned the killing and expressed his shock and dismay at the incident, sending his condolences to the bereaved family.
“We are shocked and saddened to receive the news of the untimely death of Inkosi Linda Mathonsi of Mathonsi traditional council. Inkosi Mathonsi was an all round leader and father who always handled his deployments with total devotion. He served the Mandeni community with humility and was instrumental in developing Mandeni Mall and the growth of our municipality,” Zulu said.
MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, also expressed outrage, shock and condemnation at the “brutal assassination” of Mathonsi.
According to Dube-Ncube, this is the second public representative to have been shot in the province in the last week.
“The murder of Inkosi Mathonsi comes as the province is still reeling from the ruthless assassination of councillor Ace Houston, of uMuziwabantu Municipality (Harding), who was murdered at a community meeting last week.
“It is with deep sadness that we once again mourn the untimely departure of a leader of the people, this time, Inkosi Mathonsi.
“Inkosi’s death is a shock to all of us. Our deepest condolences go to the family, friends and the entire Mathonsi clan.
“Inkosi as the head of the traditional community had done a lot to facilitate the development of his community,” said Dube-Ncube.
“We have come a long way towards the relative calm we enjoy today in KZN and we must do all in our power to preserve the peace we have worked so hard towards as a province.
“We appeal to anyone in possession of any information that may lead to apprehending the perpetrators of these recent crimes to come forward.
“We also urge the law enforcement agencies to maximise their efforts in bringing those responsible for these crimes to justice,” said Dube-Ncube.