Richards Bay - The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has provided more details about the killing of its Umhlathuze councillor, John Myaka, saying he was gunned down in front of congregants at his Enseleni church.
The ACDP said John Myaka, who was also a pastor, was gunned down while at the pulpit, by two armed men who entered the church which is in the Enseleni township, near Richards Bay.
According to Bishop Eric Manqele, the KZN provincial leader of the ACDP, Myaka died on the spot.
BREAKING NEWS: A Councillor of the ACDP in the City of Umhlathuze (Richards Bay-Empangeni) in KZN has been shot dead. Councillor Myaka was shot dead while in the township of Enseleni and the motive behind his killing is not yet known. His party confirmed the killing. @IOL— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 27, 2023
“The ACDP PR councillor at Umhlathuze Municipality John Myaka was shot fatally today at his church at Enseleni.
“Every Tuesday, councillor Myaka, as a pastor had church services to attend. Today as usual, he went to church.
“As he was on the pulpit, two men came in a shot him dead. Councillor Myaka died on the spot,” Manqele told IOL shortly after the incident.
The City of Umhlathuze said it was mourning Myaka’s death, while the DA said the police must work day and night to arrest the gunmen.
UPDATE: Councillor John Myaka of the ACDP who was killed a short while ago in Enseleni township in northern KwaZulu-Natal was a PR Councillor. So, there won't be by-elections. According to IEC rules, his party will fill his position without sweating in by-elections. @IOL— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 27, 2023
“Councillor Myaka was an esteemed member of the City of Umhlathuze Municipality ... He played an integral role as part of the coalition government led by the IFP.
“His dedication, commitment, and unwavering service to the community will be deeply missed,” the city said in a statement.
On the same day, the Umhlathuze Speaker Tobias Gumede led a municipality delegation and visited Myaka’s family.
UPDATE: The ACDP has provided more details around the killing of its Councillor in the City of Umhlathuze in northern KZN. According to Bishop Eric Manqele of the ACDP in the province, Councillor John Myaka who was also a pastor was shot by two men while on the pulpit. @IOL pic.twitter.com/IWp4eOOfYM— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 27, 2023
Heinz de Boer, a DA KZN member of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, who is also the DA’s Umhlathuze constituency leader, called for swift arrests.
“The DA calls for swift action from the SAPS in apprehending those responsible for this callous act.
“We also believe that there should be a particular focus on whether the incident was politically motivated.
UPDATE: The Speaker of the City of Umhlathuze, Tobias Gumede, today led a municipal delegation to console the mourning family of Pastor John Myaka, the ACDP councillor who was shot dead on Tuesday while preaching in Enseleni. Meanwhile, the DA has said this brazen murder pic.twitter.com/L13VE6sLjW— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 28, 2023
“This heinous act of violence comes in the wake of several DA oversights in Nseleni highlighting unacceptable levels of rape, murder and contact crime.
“Further investigations have also revealed that visible policing is critically lacking in the region.
“This brazen murder – in front of witnesses – bears testament to a lawless society in which criminals do not fear arrest and prosecution.
“The DA calls on the SAPS to ramp up their investigations and bring the perpetrators to book,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the killing of Myaka, the NFP said the municipality should urgently provide its sole councillor in the municipality, Philani Mavimbela with bodyguards.
Despite the NFP being in alliance with the ANC, Mavimbela votes with the IFP, helping to cushion it against a possible overthrow.
“We don’t want to see a situation like the one in the Zululand district municipality where only IFP councillors are provided with bodyguards,” said Siphamandla Ntombela, a leader of the NFP in Zululand.