The ANC’s staging of a successful KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference has been marred by the fatal shooting of a member of the party at Umlazi township near Durban.
eThekwini ANC Youth League regional secretary Thinta Cibane confirmed that Bongani “Usher” Mkhize had been gunned down by two men at his home in Umlazi on Saturday morning.
Mkhize — who was pursuing his studies — was the deputy chairperson of the ANC’s Ward 88 branch and the chairperson of the ANCYL in the same branch. He had previously served as the student representative council chairperson at Coastal KZN TVET College.
“Apparently two men came into his home this morning. There was an altercation and he was shot dead a couple of minutes later with two bullets. This is terrible, he was still just a young kid,” Cibane said.
Cibane continued, saying the killers were people who were known to the community, but was not aware if any arrest had been made yet.
Cibane was not able to comment on whether the killing was political. Mkhize, he said, was not a delegate to the conference on behalf of his branch.
“I would be speculating if I was to say what it was related to. I have no idea,” he added.
SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naidoo said charges of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm were being investigated.
Naidoo said the victim was shot dead in Yose Drive in V Section, Umlazi at around 9am.
”A 29-year-old suspect handed himself over to the police and was arrested. the firearm that was used in the commission of the crime was also confiscated from the suspect,” he said.
Naidoo said the motive for the killing was unknown and that the suspect would appear in the Umlazi Magistrate’s court next week.
The murder of Mkhize is the latest in the series of killings of ANC leaders and councillors in KwaZulu-Natal which began to escalate ahead of the 2016 local government elections.
The murders prompted Premier Willies Mchunu to appoint the Moerane Commission, the report of which will be made public soon.
In his address to the conference held in Durban on Thursday, provincial task team convener Mike Mabuyakhulu said the killings were the “greatest threat” to the ANC in the province.