DURBAN - The ANC in the eThekwini Region has urged police and the municipality to ensure the safety of its ward 101 councillor, Mzi Ngiba, after he survived an attempted assassination at the weekend.
ANC regional task team co-ordinator Bheki Ntuli told the Daily News on Monday that the party was shocked to hear of the attempted assassination of Ngiba.
He said that Ngiba was at a meeting on Saturday to elect both new ANC branch leadership and ward committee members.
As he was leaving the meeting unknown gunmen followed him and started shooting. Ngiba reportedly sped off and was not hit by a bullet.
Ngiba, a councillor between 2011 and 2016, had just been elected again in a by-election held last month.
He replaced Siyabonga Mkhize, who was gunned down a few days before last year’s November 1 local government elections. Mkhize was an ANC candidate but nevertheless won the ward, which forced a by-election.
Ward 101 covers Mayville, Cato Crest, and some parts of Cato Manor under the eThekwini Municipality.
Ntuli urged police to speed up investigations. “We are concerned about the safety of this councillor.
“There is a problem in that ward so we ask police to ensure his safety by speedily arresting the suspects.
“We also want to appeal to the municipality to tighten up security around him, otherwise he would not be able to perform his duties while forever looking back to see whether he was being followed or not,” said Ntuli.
He added that the councillor had called and informed him about the incident, and told him he was not hurt.
Several attempts to get comment from the councillor were unsuccessful. It was unclear whether he had bodyguards during the attack.
During the by-election, Ngiba was heavily guarded and was seen moving around with bodyguards carrying assault rifles.
Mkhize’s murder was taken over by the police’s political killings unit which was set up by the security cluster’s ministerial task team chaired by Police Minister Bheki Cele, but the unit had yet to find the killers.
According to the police in Cato Manor, the councillor had not opened a case but was expected to do so late on Monday.
Recently the province saw another killing of two councillors – Minenhle Mkhize, who was ANC ward 103 councillor in Hammarsdale, and IFP Amajuba District Municipality speaker Reginald Ndima.