KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, has expressed concern over what she calls the unabated assassinations of councillors in the province.
She was reacting to the murder of an Msunduzi ward councillor, Mabhengu Mkhize, in Imbali, Pietermaritzburg, on Friday.
It was the 4th attack on councillors in the province within a week.
In the previous 10 months, 17 councillors were killed.
Sithole-Moloi says the escalating frequency of such attacks is deeply alarming.
She says it is commendable that the police arrested two suspects relating to Mkhize’s murder.
Mabhengu Mkhize was the Ward 41 councillor under the Msunduzi Local Municipality. Another person, who was with Mkhize in his car, survived the attack.
In a statement, the ANC in the Moses Mabhida region says the area where the incident took place has become a hot spot for serious crimes such as murder.
Same area where 10 family members were killed
This is the same area where, a few months ago, ten family members were killed.
The chairperson of the ANC’s Moses Mabhida region, Mzimkhulu Thebolla, says they are concerned about the escalating serious crimes, such as murder, taking place in this region of KwaZulu-Natal.
Thebolla elaborates, “A ward councillor of Ward 41, comrade Mabhungu Mkhize, together with one of his friends, were attacked. It is unfortunate that we received the sad news of Mabhungu’s passing on his way or on arrival at the hospital. But we are just glad that there is someone who can tell us exactly what really happened.”
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of Msunduzi.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Netshiunda says when police arrived on the scene of the shooting they found 45-year-old councillor Mabhungu Mkhize’ vehicle riddled with bullet holes.
Mkhize tried to drive away when two attackers opened fire, but lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a house.
Netshiunda says Plessislaer officers and members of the uMgungundlovu District task team traced the suspects to a house in Imbali.
“Police officers from Plessislaer and the uMgungundlovu District Task Team mobilised resources and the suspects were arrested at a house on Ntumbeza Road in Imbali. Two firearms were found hidden on the roof of a garage and the vehicle which was reportedly used as getaway from the crime scene was recovered and seized. The suspects, aged 23-years-old and 27-years-old, will appear in court soon on charges of murder and attempted murder,” adds Netshiunda