The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has expressed shock the assassination of one of its councillors in the Nongoma local municipality in the northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The party’s spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said the organisation distressed by the passing of councillor Ndukenhle Duma.
“The Nongoma councillor was gunned down in Mtubatuba, northern KwaZulu-Natal, earlier today.
“While full details about exactly what transpired are not yet available, it is deeply concerning that political assassinations continue unabated in KwaZulu-Natal,” Hlengwa said.
Duma was recently elected after the by-elections in one of the wards. He was killed near Ithendele coal mine in Mtubatuba.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, preliminary investigation indicated that the IFP ward councillor 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 multiples 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 added.
The Nongoma municipality is the most volatile and heavily contested municipality in the area.
The incident has prompted national police commissioner, General Fannie Masemola, to deploy the national task team on political killings to arrest those behind the incident.
Late last year, Police Minister Bheki Cele and the provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi revealed that more than 300 cases including 155 murders, had been investigated since July 2018, by the multi-disciplinary police task team on political killings in the province.
Meanwhile, Mathe said that Masemola has assured the community of Nongoma that police were working around the clock, to trace and apprehend those behind the attack.
Police have urged members of the community with information to come forward to assist them.