ANC provincial leader Zweli Mkhize has raised fears of an underground campaign to eliminate the party’s leaders in KwaZulu-Natal.
He made the comment while visiting the family of ANC councillor Wandile Wonderboy Mkhize who was shot dead outside his home at Manaba near Margate on Saturday night.
“We cannot understand the magnitude of the problem, but it seems that there is a problem,” said Mkhize.
He was accompanied by several party leaders to Manaba including Transport and Community Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu, provincial Speaker Peggy Nkonyeni and ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala.
Former police commissioner Bheki Cele was also present.
Mchunu said the “enemy” was unseen and was waging “guerrilla warfare”, but he could not say if the problem was from within the organisation or external.
The Mercury understands that, following the latest killing, councillors in the eThekwini municipality have raised concern about their safety and some have even questioned whether or not they should resign.
Others were thinking of calling for a meeting with municipal Speaker Logie Naidoo.
The Durban councillors were officially briefed about Wandile’s death during a function at the city hall on Sunday.
“Automatically, when you accept a nomination as a councillor, you accept a death sentence,” one councillor said afterwards.
Yesterday Naidoo, who is responsible for the welfare of councillors in eThekwini, said that since the local government elections last year the municipality had been doing risk assessments on a number of councillors.
He would not say how many had been provided with security. Councillors were committed people, he said, who wanted to serve the people.
“If you resign you are indicating your weakness and giving in to the threat of the dark forces,” said Naidoo.
eThekwini has already lost two ANC officials who were murdered when they arrived home.
In July last year ANC eThekwini regional secretary S’bu Sibiya was shot and killed at his home in Inanda after the local government elections. Councillor Wiseman Mshibe was shot and killed at his home in March last year.
Wandile’s friend and ANC comrade, who was with him at the time of the most recent attack, is in a serious condition in hospital after he sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
Mkhize said Wandile’s murder came at a time when the ANC in the province was winning the battle to unite.
What was scary was the “underground campaign to eliminate political opponents”, he said.
He said Wandile was among ANC Youth League leaders who had taken up the challenge to resolve division among the youth league leadership in the province after the national leadership disbanded the provincial structure.
He called on party members and local community members to keep “their eyes and ears wide open” for any information that might help police to arrest suspects responsible for Wandile’s murder.
The Hawks are investigating the murder. Mchunu said a team of detectives from various special units was in the area to help local police solve the case.
“A special force from the province is right here in the region to investigate the matter. They will be working with local police. We will not rest until the killers are arrested,” said Mchunu.