DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has raised concerns over the spate of killings of amakhosi in the King Cetshwayo District.
This after a second king was assassinated by unknown gunmen in the space of one week.
On Saturday, Inkosi Hlanganani Biyela of KwaMpukane Royal House at Ndlangubo area, Eshowe, was shot and killed, allegedly by unknown gunmen.
He was also the chairperson of the King Cetshwayo Local House of Traditional Leaders.
"As the provincial government, we are concerned about the killings that are threatening to destabilise the institution of traditional leadership in our province. In less than a week, we have lost two amakhosi in the King Cetshwayo District,” Hlomuka said.
He urged law enforcement agencies to double their efforts in apprehending the “cowards” who were behind the recent spate of killings of amakhosi in the province.
Inkosi Biyela’s assassination came at a time when the institution of traditional leadership was still mourning the loss of another traditional leader, Mzomuhle Zondi, 24, of the Zondi Traditional Council under the Nkandla local municipality.
Zondi was killed, allegedly by unknown gunmen, at his home on Wednesday, November 10.
“I call upon law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrators of these heinous acts of criminality and cowardice. I also urge community members to be part of efforts to root out rogue elements that are hell-bent on plunging the institution of traditional leadership into chaos," Hlomuka said.
The MEC sent his condolences to the family of Inkosi Biyela, his traditional community and the King Cetshwayo Local House of Traditional Leaders, where the Inkosi served diligently as chairperson.
Inkosi Phiwayinkosi Biyela of Obuka said they were shocked by the “horrible” incident.
“He was humble, approachable and loved people. He worked with people at all levels. And he had the ability to resolve complex issues,” Biyela said.
He said they will forever miss him.
Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders in KwaZulu-Natal, sent condolences to the Biyela family and nation.
“This is a disgrace. I’m still finding it hard to believe that he is gone. People no longer have Ubuntu. Only a person with a dead conscience would commit such a heinous crime,” Chiliza said.
He urged the nation to keep calm and to let the law take its course.
“When such incidents happen, some people witness an activity of some sort. We are requesting those with information to bring it forth to the police. We want to see action from our law enforcement agencies, not just cheap talk,” he said.
Provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, said Biyela was shot and killed upon arrival at home.
“It is alleged that the victim came home and parked his vehicle outside, near his house, and proceeded to a rondavel house opposite his house to open it.
“It is alleged that gunshots were heard a number of times and when family members came out they found him on the ground with his firearm cocked open and magazine emptied,” Mbele said.
She added that the victim had gunshot wounds and died on scene.
“A number of empty cartridges of a pistol and blood was found on the scene. When searching the crime scene it was noticed that the suspect(s) cut the fence at the back entrance to exit. Blood stains were noticed throughout the premises,” she said.
Nobody was able to identify the suspects, Mbele said, adding that the murder investigation continued.
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