PICS: The high cost of being a councillor in KZN
Once a prestigious job that came with massive political power, control of resources for wards and noble societal status, being a councillor in KZN has become riskier that being an underground mine worker who is exposed to toxic gases.
It is either you live to duck bullets every day or you lose your privacy and have to be followed by a swarm of heavily armed bodyguards wherever you go.
Although the killings have taken place in other parts of the country like the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo, KZN, a province that is also believed to be the one supplying hitmen, is the epicentre of these killings.
Here are some of the most recent incidents of councillors being murdered:
Mthembeni Majola of Inkosi Langalibalele local municipality
The killing of Inkatha Freedom Party councillor, Mthembeni Majola, 39, a councillor at Inkosi Langalibalele local municipality (Estcourt) on Friday evening reminded people how dangerous the job is in the province. The killings peaked around 2016 and 2018 with uMzimkhulu, Richmond, Lower South, uMgungundlovu district recording the highest number.
Majola who was wheelchair bound after surviving an attempt on his life, was shot in a hail of bullets while traveling with two other people. He died on the spot and the two were wounded and rushed to hospital.
Mfanzo Nzuza of Maphumulo local municipality
Nzuza, a councillor of the IFP was shot dead in April 26, this year. According to his party, he was shot dead at his home KwaMambulu near Kranskop by unknown assailants who are still at large.
Sibusiso Maphumulo of eThekwini municipality
Maphumulo‚ who was gunned down near his home in Umlazi had previously been threatened by a mob.
Maphumulo was in his car after a meeting in the township’s V-section when another car parked next to him and the occupants opened fire.
Sibuyiselo Dlamini of Ulundi Local Municipality
While driving along the R66 King Dinuzulu Highway, Ulundi, IFP PR councillor and Zululand district chairman, Dlamini was ambushed and killed by assassins who are still at large.
His killing was linked to internal factional fights. On the same night, a former ANC councillor Musawenkosi ‘Maqatha” Mchunu, 45, who was vocal against the leadership of the party in the province was ambushed and killed outside his home in kwaPata, Pietermaritzburg.