File picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Media

Durban - A 23-year-old man has been killed in what is now believed to have been a botched hit that was intended for his father, a recently suspended senior municipal official in eThekwini.

The man was shot dead in the driveway of his home in New Germany, Durban, late on Monday afternoon.

Two sources, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, told The Mercury it was believed the murder was a botched hit.

One said the shooters were thought to be hitmen sent to kill the man’s father, who was recently placed on suspension.

He said the father had heard someone at the door and assumed it was a friend of his son’s, so sent him to answer.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed a case had been opened at Pinetown police station.

“At about 5.50pm, a 23-year-old male was fatally shot at his home, in New Germany, by unknown suspects who fled in their getaway vehicle,” she said.

Gwala maintained that the motive was unknown at this stage.

“Police are investigating a case of murder,” she said. “No arrest has been made at this stage.”

Rescue Care’s Garrith Jamieson said on Monday that paramedics had attended the scene.

“A male in his twenties passed away due to two gunshot wounds he had sustained to his upper body,” Jamieson said. “At this stage the events leading up to the shooting are unknown.”

Meanwhile tributes for the slain man - who celebrated his birthday two weeks ago - have been pouring in on social media.

Friends and family posted messages on his Facebook page.

“Devastating hearing the sudden loss of such an enthusiastic being, rest in peace,” wrote one.

Another wrote: “Another brother with a heart of gold is no longer with us.”

The Mercury