Durban - Hours after the public protector visited the Glebelands Hostel in uMlazi this week, another person was killed.
Zibangile Ntozakhe, 55, was shot dead at a bus stop opposite Glebelands on Thursday night.
Earlier in the day, Thuli Madonsela had come to investigate the cause of the high murder rate at the hostel.
Police spokesman, Major Thulani Zwane, said: “It is not clear if the motive is Glebelands conflict-related, taxi-related or another criminal act. But what we do know is that the deceased was a hostel resident.
“He died after being shot in the chest.”
Deputy public protector, advocate Kevin Malunga, said it was undoubtedly related: “There is this culture of killing at Glebelands. It has become commonplace to kill people over petty issues.”
The police have recorded 44 deaths while the community claimed more than 50 people had been killed in 2014 and last year.
“The figure varies from time to time between the complainants and police.
“To me, the exact number is neither here nor there – the real issue is to put an end to this before revealing why it got to this point,” Malunga said.
A source said Ntozakhe had been killed in an attempt to silence him after he had been seen on TV commenting about a minibus that ploughed into pedestrians, killing two children and a vendor at Reunion on Wednesday last week.
Ntozakhe lived in room 1 of Block O. He had been a taxi rank manager at Reunion Station.
“We suspect a taxi owner hired a hitman to silence Ntozakhe, after being blamed on TV for speeding.
“Glebelands residents live in fear of being killed. I do not blame them for not wanting to speak to the media.
“Everyone is looking over their shoulders. For safety between blocks, we walk in groups,” he said.
He alleged people “high up” were benefiting from the bloodshed, which was why the killings would not end. He said Madonsela had been given a hit list naming 21 people to be killed.
Malunga said he had not seen a hit list.
“That kind of talk is toxic. It can lead to more assassinations.
“A lot of documents were given to us by complainants and we have not had enough time to go through them all.”
He said the public protector’s role was to ensure residents did not have to live in fear and his office was investigating allegations against the police.
He said they would return with the Department of Social Development to provide psychological support for the community.