ANC councillor shot dead in KZN
An African National Congress councillor has been shot dead in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday.
“We can confirm that an ANC councillor was shot dead at his home on Sunday at 7pm,” Lt-Col Vincent Mdunge said.
He said a man knocked at the door soon after the councillor had returned home from a meeting in Nongoma. His son opened the door and a man asked to see the councillor.
“The man fired shots at him when he emerged. He tried to run into his bedroom but it was too late... he suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was declared dead at the scene.”
He said the motive for the shooting was not known and no arrest had been made. A case of murder was opened.
KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube said she was saddened by the councillor’s murder, identifying him as Makhosonke Msibi.
“According to the reports councillor Msibi had just returned home from his party’s recruitment campaign in Nongoma when an unknown gunman entered his house and shot him at point blank range in full view of his family members,” she said in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the brutal killing of one of the committed and tireless servants in the field of local government in the province,” she said.
The death of Msibi was a blow to the province’s democratic system of local government and the development of the Zululand district as a whole.
“We do not know the cause and the motive. We are, however, worried that the killing of councillors is becoming a disturbing trend, noting that it is not happening for the first time,” she said.
“If this cowardly use of violence was carried out with the intention to subvert the will of the people it will not succeed.”
Zululand District Municipality mayor and National Freedom Party (NFP) president Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi called on police to arrest those involved in the killing of Msibi.
"I call on police to investigate and arrest the perpetrators as we do not want our province to be involved in political violence once again. It is worrying when political leaders are getting killed especially when electioneering intensifies."
KaMagwaza-Msibi is not related to the slain councillor.
She also called for political tolerance in the area ahead of the national elections next year.
"I call on the people of Zululand to practice political tolerance as the 2014 elections campaign intensifies... We know the terrible pain that came with political violence and we don't want our province to experience that painful past again," she said.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said Msibi was its "visionary and hard-working" branch chairman in Ulundi.
"Comrade Msibi, 48, was one of the comrades who recruited thousands of members for the ANC in Ulundi since he joined our movement.
"We have lost a person who ensured that the ANC was on course to emerge as the dominant force in the area generally and in particular at the next election in Nongoma," said provincial secretary Sihle Zikalalala.
He said political killings were an indication of political bankruptcy and immaturity of people who had been rejected by the people of the province.
"The perpetrators should learn from history. These acts simply serve to make us even more determined to entrench full democracy and free political activity throughout KwaZulu-Natal."
He said Msibi was shot dead barely hours after he had returned from a ceremony welcoming hundreds of new members from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the National Freedom Party (NFP) in Nongoma.