Durban - A third man has been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of two ANC branch leaders in September, police said on Monday.

Colonel Jay Naicker said the 32-year old man was arrested in Bloemfontein and was expected to appear in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

ANC branch secretary Bheki Chiliza, 39, and chairman Dumisani Malunga, 42, were shot dead while driving in the Oshabeni area at 9.30pm on September 16.

Samuel Cele, 34, and Sifiso Khumalo, 31, were arrested the next day.

Khumalo pleaded guilty to the shooting and was sentenced by the Pietermaritzburg High Court to 22 years for the murder of Dumisani Malunga.

In an explanation of plea read to the court, Khumalo claimed that Cele had arranged for a hitman to kill Malunga.

However, unbeknown to them, the hitman found Malunga and Chiliza together and decided to kill them both.

On Monday, Naicker declined to confirm whether the third man arrested, from the Boboyi area of Port Shepstone, was the hitman. - Sapa