A a 52-year-old male believed to be an employee of the eThekwini Municipality in the Department of Water and Sanitation, was shot dead while inside a state vehicle on Friday morning, private security in the area confirmed.
Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) attended the scene in Inanda, north of Durban, where the body of the man was found dead in the front seat of the Municipality's white Toyota Hilux bakkie.
The plates on the vehicle confirmed it belonged to the state, “NDM [Natal Durban Metro] 186 48”.
“A passer-by contacted Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) at approximately 05:41 after they made the discovery.
“Reaction Officers and RUSA Medics were immediately dispatched and on arrival, located the deceased in the driver’s seat of a white Toyota Hilux double cab bakkie. His vehicle was still idling,” Rusa said.
Rusa officers found the man with two gunshot wounds to his head.
The images provided show that two bullet entry holes are in the driver-side door of the bakkie, indicating he was shot from outside a closed window.
“According to a witness, the unmarked Ethekwini Municipality vehicle was seen parked at the same location since yesterday afternoon (Thursday). The deceased allegedly resides in the area,” Rusa said.
IOL has reached out to the Municipality and the police in KwaZulu-Natal to confirm more details surrounding the alleged assassination and will update the story accordingly once the information is retrieved.
The City’s Water and Sanitation department has already been shrouded in controversy after head of the unit, Ednick Msweli, said that the recent week-long water outage experienced in the northern parts of the City, was a result of sabotage.
This was discovered while checking the 27 kilometre pipeline that makes up the City’s northern water network.
“During an Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting today, 26 September Head of the Water and Sanitation Unit Mr Ednick Msweli said during the inspection of the 27-kilometre pipeline, technical teams discovered that an air valve had been tampered with and another valve had been vandalised.
“These valves have since been repaired by the Municipality and a case of sabotage opened at the Greenwood Park Police Station,” the Municipality said.
With billions of Rands in the balance, the criminal element has been a troublesome force against development plans of the state, but there are some from both public and civil spaces who believe these criminal elements are within the City itself.
A public advocate of this notion has been Durban politician and former member of Umgeni Water Board, Visvin Reddy.
Reddy believes the water outages and dry spells experienced are because it allows those administering the system to profit from it, by means of allocating tenders to fix problems and offer short-term solutions like water tankers.
Reddy made mention of an investigation at Umgeni Water a couple of years ago, where someone threw a log into a pump at the Durban Heights water facility.
“This is a secure place, not everyone can just walk into it. When this incident happened, it was clear that the damage had to be done by someone inside the facility. The Minister was made aware of this and there was an ongoing investigation. But that just fizzled into nothing.
“Every time something like this happens, when the water or power goes out, there is someone benefiting from it,” Reddy said.
The City had also been at the centre of an illegally awarded multi-million Rand water tanker contract, according to a report compiled by a private forensic investigation firm, the Daily News reported.
Nethezeka Trading, a local company that put forward a bid together with another 29 companies for the water contract, but lost to Crossmoor Transport.
Nethezeka Trading then employed the services of Nyaba Advisory Services to investigate the protocols and procedures used n the awarding of the tender.
The Daily News viewed this report, which found that there was indisputable evidence of tender rigging, misrepresentation and clear deviations from correct processes.