Durban – The murder of Chief Linda Mathonsi and other public officials has undermined peace in KwaZulu-Natal, an MEC said on Tuesday.
"The killing of Inkosi and other public representatives recently is casting a shadow over the journey to peace we have travelled as a province," Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said.
On Monday evening, Mathonsi, 58, was shot in the head and neck while travelling with his daughter, 25, who was also shot in the arm, police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said.
The two had been travelling in the Chappies area of Sundumbili when a car drove up next to their vehicle and an occupant began shooting at them, she said.
According to IPSS paramedics spokesperson Paul Herbst, the incident – which some have described as an assassination attempt – took place shortly after Mathonsi picked his daughter up near a library in the area.
Dube-Ncube said KwaZulu-Natal had worked "tirelessly over the years" to rid the province of the image of being a "backward area, ravaged by violence and killings".
"We must not allow criminal elements to take us back."
She also called for the local communities to "not be provoked by this cowardly act".
"Inkosi Mathonsi’s death must rally all of us to deepen the roots of peace in the province."
Meanwhile, Inkatha Freedom Party national chairperson Blessed Gwala said the party was shocked at the news of the brutal murder.
"We are deeply shocked and devastated by this brutal act that leaves us lost for words."
Gwala said that Mathonsi was highly respected among Amakhosi and was always willing to assist and give advice in solving community issues.
"It is shocking that such a valued citizen of KwaZulu-Natal has to depart this life in such a tragic manner. While it is unacceptable that someone of his stature is murdered, we condemn any form of violence."
Gwala called on the Hawks to utilise all of its resources to find those responsible and "ensure that justice is served".
"Members of the community who have information about this killing are urged to come forward and assist the police in their investigations," he said.