An IFP councillor has been shot dead in Mtubatuba, northern KwaZulu-Natal. Councillor Innocent “Killer” Mkhwanazi was shot dead around 5 pm on Monday afternoon.
His killing comes a few days after the killing of the ACDP’s City of Umhlathuze Councillor, Pastor John Myaka, who was shot dead while on the pulpit at his church in Nseleni last week.
In the matter of Mkhwanazi, sources told IOL that Mkhwanazi had been allegedly cornered and shot dead while driving on one of the area's narrow roads.
Sources said the killers fired a hail of bullets at the car, fatally wounding him and fleeing the scene.
BREAKING NEWS: A Councillor of the IFP in the Umkhanyakude district municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal has been shot dead. Innocent "Killer" Mkhwanazi was shot dead a while ago around Mtubatuba and police are at the scene where he was murdered. @IOL pic.twitter.com/SSsdHkQl2S— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) July 3, 2023
Police were still combing the murder scene, but the motive for the killing was still to be determined.
“He has been killed, but for now nobody knows why he was killed and who is behind this shocking murder,” a source told IOL.
Shocked members of Mkhwanazi’s family and close friends were at the scene, IOL has established.
Mkhwanazi was a well-known IFP figure in the Mtubatuba area, where he lived.
At some point, he worked for the Mtubatuba Local Municipality, which is now contested by the IFP and the ANC.
He later left the municipality to join politics full-time and in the process, the IFP deployed him to the Umkhanyakude District Municipality, where he was serving as a councillor until the time of his death.
Despite his long service to the party, he had run-ins with its leadership and at some point, he was hauled over the coals for alleged ill-discipline.
The IFP’s national spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, confirmed Mkhwanazi’s death but said details were still sketchy.
“The IFP has received with sadness and regret the news of the death of IFP Cllr Innocent Mkhwanazi. He was allegedly shot dead this afternoon.
“Details surrounding the shooting are unclear at this point. The IFP sends its condolences to all of Cllr Mkhwanazi’s family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time. May his soul rest in peace,” said Hlengwa.
Hlengwa said the IFP condemned the killing in the strongest possible terms.
“This type of violence does not bode well for our democracy, and is cause for serious concern as we approach the 2024 elections,” Hlengwa said in a statement.