Sbu Ngubane, a clerk at the metro police department in Durban, was shot three times in the head at his spaza shop in KwaNdengezi.
Colleagues, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed he was killed because of information he would have revealed in an internal inquiry against his bosses.
“He was a complainant and had lodged numerous grievances with the municipality against a senior official,” Jaycee Ncanana, provincial secretary of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu), said yesterday.
“We are not pointing fingers at people, but the way he died is suspicious.
“Nothing was stolen from the spaza shop or from his body. Only his life was taken,” Ncanana said.
He said if law enforcement agencies did not get to the bottom of the murder, “more people” could die.
“He was going to testify in a number of cases where he had lodged grievances with the employer, and his evidence would have been damaging to certain individuals,” Ncanana said.
Another colleague said Ngubane had been frustrated in his job for about four years.
“At one stage, his salary was stopped for 12 months. After numerous appeals he was back-paid. He lodged a complaint with the municipality and it was discovered that the employer was in the wrong,” the colleague said.
“As he had suffered losses during the 12-month period, he filed a R500000 lawsuit against the municipality.
“He had stop orders bouncing for a year and that traumatised him. For some reason, the municipality shifted and directed one of the superiors to shoulder the lawsuit,” the colleague said.
Ngubane had been transferred four times in four years to different parts of the metro, he said.
“He was brave. He challenged authority, so that’s why he was frustrated. It is his bravery and bringing the wrongdoings in the department to the attention of the municipal management that we believe led to his murder.
“Those inquiries he lodged against his bosses will not go anywhere now that he is dead,” the colleague said.
Captain Nqobile Gwala, KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, said the 45-year-old was shot three times in the head.
“At about 7.40pm, a 45-year-old male was fatally shot at Ntokozweni area. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage. KwaNdengezi police are investigating a case of murder and no arrests have been made,” Gwala said.
The metro police unit is not new to controversy, and employees have spoken about victimisation by senior officials.
In November 2015, Innocent Chamane, senior support service manager, was shot seven times in the head at his home in Inanda.
In 2014, the Sunday Tribune reported a rift between metro police and their management, leading to deliberate spoiling of more than 60% of all handwritten fines.
It cost the city millions in lost revenue.
Last month, Eugene Nzama, metro police chief, took the city and then acting city manager Dumisile Nene to the Durban High Court for “undermining” his authority and “changing the roles of police officers to security guards” for the protection of some councillors’ premises and areas in the city hall.
In the current case, attempts to confirm the lawsuit and salary suspension with the municipality were unsuccessful yesterday.
Head of communications Tozi Mthethwa referred the Daily News to the police.