Politically-motivated violence in KwaZulu-Natal is now posing a threat to the future of South Africa, as the latest assassination of a ward councillor has claimed the lives of two school children and injured another two.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in KwaZulu-Natal confirmed the death of Ndukenhle Duma, ward 11 councillor in the northern region of Nongoma.
Four children were shot during the hit, with two, aged 11 and 12, succumbing to the gunshot wounds, South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed.
SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the national task team for political killings has been deployed to Nongoma Municipality to investigate Duma’s death.
Mathe said forensic experts, including the ballistics unit, are currently on the scene.
“A preliminary investigation indicates the IFP ward councillor who is attached to Nongoma Local Municipality was ambushed along the R618 in Nongoma while attending to a vehicle breakdown on Wednesday afternoon.
“A group of armed men stopped next to his vehicle and shot the councillor multiple times, he sadly succumbed to his injuries on the scene.
“The suspects then fired shots at a passing scholar transport taxi that was transporting school children. Four children were shot and wounded, and two of them, aged 11 and 12-years-old, sadly succumbed to their injuries,” Mathe said.
Chairperson of the Provincial Executive Committee of the IFP, Thami Ntuli, said it condemned Duma’s killing and said it was “extremely unfortunate” for the suspects to have opened fire on the school transport.
Duma was recently elected as councillor of ward 11, following a by-election.
Ntuli did not disclose the names of the school children killed during the hit, saying it was “too soon”.
“The IFP leadership in Nongoma have advised me that they will be visiting the families of the deceased today, including Duma and the families of the two children.
“They have also indicated that they will be visiting the other two children that were shot and injured,” Ntuli said.