Pretoria - The ANC in Tshwane is mourning the slaying of yet another councillor, shot dead execution-style on Friday night.
The killing is believed to be politically-motivated and linked to the party’s recent councillor candidate-selection process.
Tshepo Motaung, a ward 22 councillor in Mabopane, was shot at least 20 times by unknown hitmen.
The Pretoria News was told that Motaung was driving home with his uncle and nephew. They had arrived in Mabopane’s Block UX when gunmen ambushed and opened fire on his vehicle, which was struck by a hail of bullets.
All three occupants fled the vehicle, but the assailants pursued Motaung, cornered him in a cul-de-sac and shot him.
Two attackers, armed with assault rifles, riddled him with bullets, while others shot up his car.
Motaung’s uncle was wounded in the attack. He was rushed to hospital for treatment. His nephew escaped unscathed.
Information received by the Pretoria News had it that Motaung’s attackers were in two cars and had followed him as he was on his way home from a meeting.
According to witnesses, he was shot more than 20 times.
SA National Civic Organisation leader in the community, David Tshesedi, said the murder was believed to be related to internal ANC conflicts emanating from the selection processes for ward 22 councillor candidates.
Tshesedi said Motaung was in the running for the position of councillor.
He had contested the position of councillor candidate and emerged victorious from the community voting process.
Tshesedi claimed the murder was “politically motivated” and masterminded by people who were not in favour of Motaung’s re-election as a councillor.
Motaung had won the candidate-selection vote, beating his opponent by just 15 votes, he said.
“It is related to candidate-selection processes of the ANC. I can say it is politically motivated,” he said.
He complained that the voting was unfair, saying people were brought from Madibeng Municipality to come and participate in the process.
“They threatened us with guns that if Tshepo (Motaung) wins they will take away the ballot papers. We didn’t say anything because we were scared. But they never took away those ballot papers as they threatened,” Tshesedi said.
ANC regional spokesperson Bafuze Yabo declined to be drawn into speculation regarding the motive behind Motaung’s death.
“I don't have any details as to how his death came about. Anything that we may say will all be speculation. Only law-enforcement can get down to the bottom of it and find out the truth.
“We are hoping that that happens speedily. That it happens as soon as possible, to allay fears of comrades as well as to bring back normalcy to the organisation,” Yabo said.
Asked if Motaung’s life was under threat, he said: “It doesn’t seem like his life was under any form of threat. He still interacted in life as normal. He didn’t live like someone whose life was under threat.”
Yabo said Motaung’s death was tragic, and he hoped “that law-enforcement agencies will get to the bottom of this”.
He said the party still had unanswered questions following the shooting of two of its councillors three years ago.
The late Siphiwe Montlha was a ward 37 councillor in Soshanguve and was shot dead outside his home in May 2018. In September 2018, a ward 19 councillor in Winterveldt, Esther Matumane, was gunned down outside her home.
Yabo said: “Today we still have questions about what happened and who was responsible; no one was apprehended.”
The party has “full confidence in law-enforcement agencies and we are hoping that this time around answers are provided and culprits brought to book”.
Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo did not immediately respond to questions about the attack.