The former councillor was fatally shot in his driveway last Tuesday by gunmen in full view of his wife and their 14-year-old daughter Thimna. His wife Nobuntu Depouche was shot in the left shoulder and discharged the next day.
Depouche’s family said threats were made against him and someone wanted him dead. The Hawks have since taken over the investigation and no arrests have been made.
Depouche’s nephew Yonki Rasayi said he would be buried in the Eastern Cape at a date to be announced this week. Rasayi said there had been attempted hits on his uncle's life in recent years. One of these was in 2002, when he was attacked by gunmen while dropping children off at a crèche in Gugulethu.
Depouche was born on June 6, 1967. He joined Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1983 and remained a member until the official end of the armed Struggle.
He was a ward councillor for four consecutive terms.
“Comrade Depouche decided to join civilian life but the urge to serve had been engraved in his heart and he would the same year contest for councillorship in his ward in Crossroads, becoming a ward councillor for the first time in June 1996,” said ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs.
In June 2015, Depouche was elected into the ANC PEC, the highest decision-making body in the province in-between conferences.
“He discharged his PEC duties with unsurpassed dedication and contributed immensely to enriching the work of the ANC in the province. The ANC greatly mourns the passing of comrade Depouche, from whom much was still expected.
“We hope that as we take time to reflect on his life of triumph, we can look at our own lives, the lack of gratitude that occasionally rears its ugly head, the whining over petty inconveniences, a life not guided by a cause, and use this moment to recommit ourselves to all that Elese Depouche stood for and continue his legacy.”