Cape Town - Friends and colleagues of murdered DA councillor Xolile Gwangxu believe his death was either “politically motivated or personal, but not a robbery”.
Eyewitnesses say Gwangxu was shot dead after meeting two of his colleagues outside his office at Philippi-East community hall.
Councillor Siqhamo Batala had been talking with Gwangxu when the suspect walked up to them and fired one shot at Gwangxu.
“That was not a robbery. That person knew him very well. No words were uttered,” Batala said.
Batala said he, along with MPL Tandeka Gqada, had had an informal meeting at Gwangxu’s office at the community hall to discuss challenges their constituency faced.
Gqada was inside the car when Batala and Gwangxu were talking outside the car.
“He (the suspect) had his hands in his pockets and was wearing a hoodie. He withdrew a firearm and in the blink of an eye he shot councillor Gwangxu. I fell on the ground as did Xolile. After the shooting he (the suspect) walked down the street,” said Batala.
Gqada said: “This heartless person took nothing from him. He came straight to him and shot him at close range.”
Gwangxu’s relatives were saddened that they had to learn of his death on social media.
Gwangxu’s cousin James Ndabeni said the news “spread like wildfire” after an unknown person had called Gwangxu’s family living in the Eastern Cape.
“People should refrain from breaking such news on social network platforms,” he said.
Ndabeni said he learnt of Gwangxu’s death from a call he received from a family member living in the Eastern Cape, who inquired about condolences messages on Gwangxu’s Facebook wall.
“Breaking news on Facebook is appalling and should not be allowed to happen,” said Ndabeni.
“I tried calling his number, but it would not go through. I called another family member who said he also got to know about the death on social media,” said Ndabeni.
He said Gwangxu was due to go to the Eastern Cape this weekend to visit a cousin.
“He was loved by people and this is shocking,” said Ndabeni.
Gwangxu’s brother, Zongezile Gwangxu, described his brother as a loving, caring and down-to-earth individual.
Mayor Patricia de Lille’s spokesperson Zara Nicholson said de Lille was contributing R50 000 for any information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect.
“We will do all we can and work with the authorities to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to book and faces the full might of the law,” said de Lille.
DA Western Cape acting leader, Bonginkosi Madikizela, said Gwangxu was a “hard-working and dedicated servant of his community”.