The murder of Hibiscus Coast Municipality councillor Wandile Mkhize was “a great tragedy”, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said on Sunday.

“Comrade Mkhize’s demise is a great tragedy and the loss is not suffered only by his family but the entire movement,” spokesman Bongani Mthembu said in a statement.

Mkhize was a former secretary of the African National Congress Youth League in the Lower South Coast region. According to SABC radio news he had attended the ANC's policy conference.

Mkhize was killed in a drive-by shooting in Manaba, Margate, around 10pm on Saturday, police spokesman Lt-Col Vincent Mdunge said.

“Councillor Mkhize and a friend were walking along a road when they came under attack from unknown men driving in a Toyota Corolla.”

Mkhize died on the scene. His friend was critically injured and taken to an undisclosed hospital. Mdunge said the motive for the attack was unknown. Police were investigating a case of murder with aggravating circumstances, and one of attempted murder.

Mthembu appealed to the public to come forward with any information that could lead to the arrest of Mkhize's murderers.

“The ANC strongly condemns this brutal act and urges the law enforcement agencies to do everything possible to bring those responsible to book.”

Earlier, the ANC Youth League said it was angered and saddened by the murder.

“The ANCYL has learnt with sadness of the passing away of a fearless revolutionary and a disciplined young lion,” spokeswoman Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said in a statement.

Mkhize had “a sharp and probing intellect, with an appetite to continuously engage even those he disagreed with”.

The league called on the ANC to investigate political killings which it said were on the increase, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

“Our most sincere condolences to the Mkhize family and his newly-wedded wife in particular.” - Sapa