Another ANC candidate killed in Newcastle
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Durban - An ANC candidate councillor has been killed in Newcastle, the second suspected political murder in the area in the past two months.
Thembi Mbongo, 35, a candidate for Ward 6 in the Newcastle Emalahleni Municipality, was gunned down at her home in front of her husband and children.
The shooting prompted a call for action from the police task team appointed last month to tackle political violence.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said two men had knocked at her door in Osizweni on Saturday night, asking to speak to her, and then shot her dead.
Her killing follows the fatal shooting in Newcastle of ANC Youth League regional deputy chairman, Wandile Ngubeni, and the wounding of the youth body’s regional secretary, Mafika Mndebele, in May.
Police confirmed the case was being handled by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).
ANC provincial secretary, Super Zuma, said the party was “devastated and shocked at the senseless killing”.
“This is a tragic loss for her family, her community and the ANC,” said Zuma.
He said the ANC believed there was an orchestrated campaign to prevent an overwhelming ANC victory in the Newcastle area and Amajuba District.
“We are calling upon police to leave no stone unturned in apprehending the killers of comrade Thembi.
“We appeal to police to act swiftly to conclude the investigations of both cases so as to help ensure peace and stability in this area as we move closer to the local government elections.”
Zuma called on ANC members to remain calm and to allow police to conduct investigations.
“In her honour the ANC will work hard to ensure that it governs the ward she would have represented the ANC in and the Newcastle municipality,” he said.
Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda, condemned Mbongo’s killing as well as the killing of four others in KwaNdaba, Maphumulo, in an incident linked to faction-fighting.
According to a statement from the MEC’s office, the Maphumulo killings took place during a traditional ceremony on Saturday and at a homestead early on Sunday.
A gunman opened fire, killing three people at the scene with a fourth dying en route to hospital.
Another person was shot early on Sunday.
“We strongly condemned these incidents. We are all working for a peaceful KwaZulu-Natal but these killings undermine our work. I am concerned at the increased incidents of the murder of those who have agreed to stand up as representatives of the community in the forthcoming elections.”
Kaunda urged people with information to contact the police.
The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has condemned Mbongo’s killing.
“The multi-disciplinary task team established by the minister of police to tackle political violence linked to the upcoming local government elections needs to start showing results to end the ruthless killings and senseless violence,” Sanco national spokesman, Jabu Mahlangu, said.
Describing Mbongo’s killing as a “heinous crime”, Mahlangu said it was an act of cowardice aimed at undermining the outcome of democratic processes.
“We call on our communities to protect nominated candidates against opportunistic political thuggery,” he said.
Mahlangu said the effectiveness of the task team, which included crime intelligence, the Hawks, and other specialised units, would be measured by the extent to which it was able to unmask those behind the political killings in KwaZulu-Natal and “political violence disguised as service delivery protests”.
Daily News and African News Agency