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Manaba - A third KwaZulu-Natal ANC office bearer has died in a hail of bullets, prompting the party to appeal for calm among its members.
Wandile Wonderboy Mkhize, 34, a councillor, was gunned down outside the gate of his home in Manaba near Margate on the South Coast on Saturday night. A friend who was with him was shot several times and is fighting for his life in hospital.
“We are worried about the murder of ANC leaders which is becoming a trend,” said party provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala.
Police spokesman Colonel Vincent Mdunge said the Hawks were investigating.
The two had been walking on the road when a car pulled up and shots were fired. The motive was unknown.
Mkhize, a proportional representative councillor, served on the executive committee of the Hibiscus Coast municipality where he was chief whip and chairman of the Governance and Corporate Services Portfolio Committee.
Hibiscus Coast mayor Nomusa Mqwebu said Mkhize’s death was a great loss to the municipality, the local government fraternity, and local people. “We appeal for calm during this difficult period, and to allow for the law to take its course,” she said.
Friends, family and comrades all paid tribute to Mkhize at his mother’s home at KwaNzimakwe. One of the first to visit was ANC treasurer and Speaker of the provincial legislature, Peggy Nkonyeni.
“It’s shocking and sad,” said an emotional Nkonyeni. He had grown up in a religious home and his mother seemed to have accepted his death, but “wept now and then as we spoke to her”.
Zikalala condemned the “brutal act” and urged anyone with information to assist the police.
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.
ANC councillor Wiseman Mshibe was also shot and killed in at his home in March last year.
Cosatu’s KwaZulu-Natal leader Zet Luzipho described Mkhize as “very sober (person) and an intellectual”.
Luzipho was worried about the attacks on ANC leaders and where they were killed.
“This seems to be a trend where going home is a risk,” he told The Mercury.
In a Facebook message he said: “Cde Mshibe, Cde Sbu Sibiya and now Cde Wandile all murdered whilst arriving home and this makes it a risk, unsafe and dangerous 2 go home. If we’re in power in this province, let’s solve these cases. Condolences 2 CMkde Wandile Mkhize’s family and 2 the ANC.”
Funeral arrangements are still to be finalised. - The Mercury