Msunduzi municipality speaker’s bodyguard gunned down in latest KZN political killing

The bodyguard of a Pietermaritzburg ANC leader who had been part of presidential outsider Dr Zweli Mkhize’s campaign team is the latest victim of the wave of political assassinations that have swept KwaZulu-Natal since last April.

Mhlabunzima Bruce Mngoma (30), a municipal protection officer working for city speaker and ANC Moses Mabhida regional executive committee (REC) member Jabu Ngubo, was gunned down in a hail of 20 bullets in the provincial capital’s Caluza township on Wednesday morning.

Police said Mngoma was shot by two men at a car wash. He was first shot while sitting in his municipal vehicle and was then dragged into the street where they continued shooting him. Mngoma, who survived an assassination attempt about eight months ago, died before he could reach the hospital.

A relative, Mooi Mpofana local municipality chief financial officer Simo Mncwabe, was murdered last year in another seemingly politically-motivated – and unsolved – killing. The ANC’s Moses Mabhida region, under which Umsunduzi and Mooi Mpofana fall, includes Richmond, where a wave of hits on councillors and senior officials has left the municipality reeling.

The ANC rumour mill in the province was in overdrive on Thursday in the wake of the killing of Mngoma, who had worked as a bodyguard for the city for about two years. Council sources said he had been protecting Ngubo since she was appointed as speaker after last year’s municipal poll, accompanying her on her municipal and ANC duties.

Ngubo, previously a close ally of ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma, has been under pressure from her colleagues in the Moses Mabhida regional executive committee, over her support of Mkhize. Ngubo had previously backed the region and province’s choice of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for president but has been backing Mkhize for several months.

A member of the ANC’s Copesville (Ward 29) branch, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, said Ngubo had been at the branch general meeting (BGM) on Sunday with Mngoma.

‘’Bruce was there at the gate. Jabu had been deployed by the region to oversee the BGM. He was asking people for the IDs and proof of membership. There was a lady who walked in with me. He asked her what she was doing there and why she had come to the branch meeting,” said the member.

‘’He is not a member of the branch. He is a bodyguard paid for by the municipality. Why was he acting as a bouncer at the branch, turning people away? That is part of the problem in this province.’’

The role of bodyguards in the political killings has been thrown into profile by the Moerane Commission of Inquiry, appointed to probe the murders of politicians in KwaZulu-Natal by Premier Willies Mchunu. Witnesses have given testimony of security officials paid by municipalities being used to intimidate, or kill, the political rivals of their employers.

SAPS spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela said the motive for killing Mongoma was not clear and that no arrests had been made.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper

Not a sweet deal, Mister

Mister Sweet workers say they will not risk their health, and the lives of others, to continue producing and packaging confectionaries

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Stay at home, Cyril said. But what about the homeless?

In Tshwane, forcing homeless people off the street resulted in chaos and the abuse of a vulnerable population. In Durban, a smooth, well-planned operation fared far better

Press Releases

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world