Mbhekiseni Khumalo, an ANC councillor in ward seven of the uPhongolo municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal, has been shot dead.
The 57-year-old was killed at his homestead at Kwalubisi village by an unknown gunman who knocked at his house at about 8.00 pm, on Saturday night pretending to be a resident needing help.
The shocking death comes weeks after councillors Ace Houston in Harding and Inkosi Mathonsi of Mandeni were murdered brutally by unknown men. Khumalo’s death now brings the number of post-municipal killings to three. In a statement, President Jacob Zuma condemned the killings.
“The ANC has full confidence that the commission of inquiry [appointed] to investigate politically-motivated violence in the province will shed some light on the people as to why public representatives continue to be targetted. The ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Khumalo family, comrades, and the community he served with dedication,” Zuma said.
The ANC also appealed to the community to help the police with any information that could lead to the arrest of the “masterminds behind the killings of the party’s councillors. The ruling party lamented that despite the killings, the assassins still walk freely in the society.
It affirmed that the continuous killings of public representatives could create instability and deter other councillors from discharging their duties to service communities Community Safety MEC Mxolisi Kaunda described Khumalo’s death as devastating and shocking.
“We find this apparent targeting of public representatives totally abhorrent as it sends a wrong message to those committed to serving in public offices in the province,” KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube on Sunday condemned the assassination of Mbhekiseni Khumalo. She maintained that the death appears to be a well-orchestrated killing spree of public officials.
“These attacks are a blow to our province’s democratic system of local government as the victims were elected representatives of the people. We express our condolences to the family and community of the slain councillor,” she said.
The family of the deceased are yet to announce the funeral arrangement of the departed councillor.