/ 16 August 2008

IFP branch leader gunned down

An Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) chairperson was gunned down in Durban on Saturday in an allegedly politically motivated attack, the party’s national chairperson said in a statement.

”Mr Bhekisisa Mthethwa, who was the chairperson of the IFP branch at Jacobs hostel, was shot to death at 4.30am at Montclair railway station as he was on his way to work,” said Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi.

”I am extremely shocked by the sad news of the murder of our comrade … while we cannot conclusively know the circumstances that led to his death, we have strong suspicions that our comrade was yet another victim of political assassination by our political opponents,” she said.

She linked it to the party making ”inroads” at a local hostel.

Msibi said Mthethwa’s assassination came two weeks after IFP member Mduduzi Buthelezi was assaulted at Tehuis hostel near Umlazi for wearing an IFP T-shirt.

Msibi said the attacks were to intimidate and prevent the IFP from reclaiming KwaZulu-Natal in the 2009 elections.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Muzi Mngomezulu said Mthethwa was shot three times in the head and body.

”We are investigating a case of murder at the moment and the motive is unknown,” he said.

Mthethwa is survived by a wife and children. — Sapa