Durban - Friends of a Durban activist who was gunned down this week have called on the police to ramp up their investigation into the murder, which came five hours after Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo told a public meeting that “troublesome” Nkululeko Gwala should leave Cato Manor, where he was agitating for housing reform.
Gwala had led various housing protests in Cato Crest and the Mayville area over the allocation of RDP houses, with tensions flaring up early this week.
Dhlomo, the ANC’s eThekwini regional chairman, is now accused of inciting and fuelling tensions among Cato Manor residents, after his statements on Wednesday.
The Sunday Tribune is in possession of a recording in which Dhlomo delivered a heated speech at a meeting attended by eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo, saying Gwala, 34, was not wanted in the area, and that he “either leaves the area or the community leaves”.
In the 25-minute recording, Dhlomo says that Gwala should be banished and should “scrub his heels because he is leaving today”.
Five hours later, Gwala was shot 12 times as he arrived at his home in Cato Manor, after watching a soccer match.
Gwala was part of a now-defunct 10-member committee elected to represent the community in March, after an under-pressure Nxumalo had visited the area to quell unrest and warn against land invasions.
Both Nxumalo and Dhlomo singled out Gwala when they addressed the meeting.
Dhlomo told Nxumalo that he must take Gwala, his “homeboy”, back with him to Inchanga.
In the recording, Dhlomo is heard saying: “Mr Mayor, I beg you to take your homeboy with you back to Inchanga. If anyone sees him today, please tell him to scrub his heels, because he is leaving (this area) today.
“ It’s either he goes or the community goes. He must go. He is not wanted here,” Dhlomo told the meeting in Zulu.
An angry Dhlomo responded by attacking the reporter and accused him of having employing underhand tactics.
Dhlomo said the Sunday Tribune was “planting agents to record meetings on its behalf”.
“I’m asking you why you are selective in your reporting? Why don’t you mention five speakers that spoke before me? What is your motive when you say I incited people? I believe it is unethical for you to report on a meeting that you never attended, but instead planted agents for. You have no context whatsoever of that meeting.”