ANC councillor shot dead

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Umtshezi -

An ANC councillor was shot dead and his wife wounded in Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal, police said on Monday.

“Ward councillor in the Umtshezi municipality Jimmy Lembede was killed by two suspects on Friday evening,” Lt-Colonel Vincent Mdunge said.

Mdunge said two men arrived at Lembede's home and knocked on the door pretending to be residents seeking help.

“When they were allowed access, they produced firearms, and fired shots striking Lembede in the head.”

Lembede died on the scene. His wife was shot in the leg.

The Mercury newspaper reported that Lembede's 11-year-old son was burned with boiling water. His five-year-old daughter was shot and wounded. Mdunge would not confirm this.

“I will not get into the merits of the investigation because it is at a sensitive stage,” he said.

Police were investigating a case of murder and three of attempted murder. The motive for the murder was unknown. No arrests had been made.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the party was concerned with what seemed to be a systematic campaign to remove its councillors.

“We call on the law enforcement agencies to ensure that those who are responsible for this callous crime are brought to book,” Zikalala said.

KwaZulu-Natal community safety MEC Willies Mchunu told the provincial legislature on August 2 that there had been an increase in the number of politically-related killings in the second part of 2011 and in 2012.

Police had reported political instability in Margate, Vryheid, Dundee, KwaMashu, Estcourt, Greytown, KwaDukuza, Umlazi T-section in Durban, and at the Jacobs and SJ Smith hostels, he said.

He gave details of 35 possibly politically-related murders in these areas since mid-2011. Seventeen people had been arrested in connection with these killings.

Zikalala said the party was pleased that Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa had assigned police officers from the national office to work in KwaZulu-Natal to investigate political killings.

“We condemn all the politically related deaths and call on our people to volunteer information that will help the law enforcement agencies,” Zikalala said.

The ANC conveyed its condolences to Lembede's family and friends. - Sapa

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