Durban - An ANC councillor has become the latest victim of the killings at Glebelands Hostel, in uMlazi, south Durban.
Proportional representative councillor for Wentworth, Zodwa Sibiya, was known as “truly committed” and for standing “firm on fighting corruption in the hostel”.
She was gunned down just after 10pm on Saturday at the hostel.
Community activist, Vanessa Burger, said Sibiya had been escorting a visitor to her car at the time.
“Her visitor opened the car door and as she did, Sibiya was shot,” Burger said, “She was hit three times in the neck and twice, in the chest.”
No-one had seen the shooter or shooters and no arrests had been made as of on Sunday, Burger said.
The Speaker for the eThekwini council, Logie Naidoo, said the municipality was devastated and that this served as evidence of the need for security for city councillors.
The spending of city funds on security for councillors was a contentious issue, Naidoo said, but he hoped people would now realise it was a “serious matter”.
“(Councillors’ security) is a very important issue and it can’t be politicised or trivialised,” he said.
Naidoo said details around the circumstances of Sibiya’s death were scant, but that the mayor had been expected to lead a delegation to her family’s home on Sunday, to express his condolences.
Speaking at a Cosatu shop stewards meeting in the Durban City Hall, SACP KZN secretary, Themba Mthembu, said the death of Sibiya, former SACP Durban south district chairwoman, was saddening, particularly because not much was being done to stop killings at the hostel.
“We must all be held responsible for letting that thing (hostel killings) in Glebelands to continue. We are doing absolutely nothing,” Mthembu said.
“We are not doing anything to stop the killings there. The intervention is too cosmetic.” He said the same vigour shown in the fight against taxi violence and farm murders should be used to deal with the killings at the uMlazi and KwaMashu hostels.
A visibly angry Mthembu said he wished the recent court ruling that made the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa liable for injury of passengers on its trains be made to apply to hostels under eThekwini.
“If you are killed in the hostel, council should be held responsible. They (authorities) will stand up and ensure nobody is killed,” he said.
“Let stand up as the working class to defend Glebelands (uMlazi), KwaMashu and every hostel to stop them being turned into an amphitheatre of murders,” Mthembu said.
A family member of Sibiya, who asked not to be named, said: “This is a difficult time for the family and we ask that you give us some time to grieve.”
Sh said arrangements to bury Sibiya next weekend were in progress.
The DA in KwaZulu-Natal expressed its sadness, calling Sibiya “one of (the) dedicated councillors”.
“It is a sad day in eThekwini and the whole province when we lose someone steadfast on protecting good governance… She will be sorely missed,” the leader of the party in the province, Zwakele Mncwango, said.
The ANC’s regional secretary in eThekwini, Bheki Ntshangase, confirmed Sibiya’s death had been an “assassination”, but said the motive was not yet clear.
Police spokesman, Major Thulani Zwane, said a murder case was opened at uMlazi police station.
No arrests had been made.