A known criminal was killed during a gunfight with police on Sunday afternoon. PICTURE : ARCHIVES

Durban- A former African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal branch chairperson was killed on Monday morning, in the Camperdown area, in what the party has called an assassination.

Lungisani Mnguni, 34, was shot dead in the Enkanyezini area, ward 3, of Umkhabathini Local Municipality. He was to attend the party’s national conference in December as a voting delegate.

Captain Nqobile Gwala from KwaZulu-Natal police confirmed the incident, saying the killing occurred at 9.10am when unknown suspects fired shots at Mnguni and then fled in their vehicle. 

"His vehicle crashed and he alighted to an embankment where he died," said Gwala. 

The motive is unknown and a case of murder has been opened.

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Responding to Mnguni’s death, Mzi Zuma, secretary of the ANC Moses Mabhida Region, said: “The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal is appalled by the ferocious murder of its activist in Umkhambathini Sub-Region today in the morning”.

Moses Mabhida region is considered a stronghold of president Jacob Zuma and is backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the next ANC president.

Mzi said that details remained “sketchy” but it appeared Mnguni was killed while on his way to deliver goods to a local school where he was involved in a food nutrition programme.

“The ANC is horrified of losing such a young comrade. The passing away of Cde Mnguni will leave a void in the ranks of the ANC, the Alliance and the mass democratic movement in general, that will not be easy to fill,” he said.

He called on potential witnesses to come forward with information.