ANC councillor gunned down in KZN in latest political killing
Another ANC councillor in KwaZulu-Natal has been gunned down after leaving a party meeting in an apparent assassination which has rocked the party’s already troubled UMgungundlovu Region.
Kwazi Mkhize (34), ANC councillor for Ward 3 at uMkhambathini (Camperdown) outside Pietermaritzburg, was shot several times as he left an extended branch executive committee meeting on Wednesday night.
ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said Mkhize had addressed an extended branch executive committee meeting at the Nkanyezini community hall and was closing the gate to the premises when he was shot several times from behind.
Describing Mkhize as ‘’the cream of the crop of young leaders’’, Ntui said the ANC was saddened by the killing.
‘’The ANC strongly condemns the killing of councillors in our province. This is an act of barbarism to kill public representatives and such murders of councillors negative effect on service delivery to our people,’’ Ntuli said.
He called on police to do everything in their power to ‘’root out the evils of crime and violence faced by public representatives”.
Saps spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the KZN provincial task team was investigating the killing, the motive for which was still unknown at this stage.
Naicker said that no arrest has been made.
Mkhize, who also served as a regional executive committee member of the ANCYL in the region, is the fourth councillor or municipal official from towns which fall under the region to have been assassinated since March. S’bu Sithole was gunned down outside the town’s police station in the first of the attacks. A month later deputy mayor Thandazile Phoswa was shot dead at her Richmond home and in June ward councillor Sifiso Mkhize was murdered. There have been no arrests in connection with any of the killings.
Tensions in the region have been high since the run-up to last August’s local government elections, when there were several protests from branches over alleged interference in the councillor selection process. They have again flared up ahead of the region’s elective conference and the national conference in December, where delegates from KwaZulu-Natal are expected to play a crucial role in the elective process.
Earlier in the week the Moerane Commission into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal heard evidence from Sithole’s wife, Slindile, and officials of the South African Local Government Association, who called on government for urgent intervention to prevent further killings.