The family of an Umlazi councillor, who was brazenly shot and killed in his own yard while his children helplessly watched on, have spoken about the traumatic incident.
Ward 84 councillor Bhekithemba Phungula, who was also an ANC branch chairperson, died in a hail of bullets as unknown assailants opened fire on him at his home in eNgonyameni, south of Durban, on Tuesday evening.
Speaking out after witnessing her father’s murder, Nqobile Phungula said they were shocked and did not expect such violence at their home because her father worked hard in the community.
“As a family, we have no suspicions of anything because at the moment we don’t know much. We are still awaiting to hear what happened and we are all still in shock about how this happened.”
She said her father never mentioned feeling under threat.
“He had never mentioned anything about intimidation, and nothing up until this point had happened, to raise suspicions. We were really shocked when it happened right in front of us.”
Phungula said she had gone to the hospital and returned home at the very same time as her father.
“Our cars entered the yard one behind the other. When he got out of the car, a person we do not know approached. I don’t know where they came from.”
She said she heard two gunshots ring out “and then he was down”.
“We didn’t see the suspect and what he looked like, but we are shocked that dad was shot inside the yard and right in front of us. My eyes are like this (bloodshot and puffy) because we couldn’t sleep last night because we don’t know what will follow and who these people are.”
Phungula said they had to now “bury our father in peace and leave the rest in the hands of the law”.
“My dad was a quiet person, who loved people and loved his community. He had a lot of love for the community and he always put them first as their councillor. We have suffered a great loss.”
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala on Wednesday announced the resuscitation of the Multi-Party-Political Intervention Committee to combat rampant killings in the province this week.
He directed the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Bheki Ntuli, to come up with a plan of action to combat the murders.
In 2018, the Moerane Commission recommended that political parties prioritise political education.
The commission said that many deployees did not fully grasp democratic practices, “especially the universal practice of peaceful political competition as opposed to political intolerance and violent political competition”.