The fatal shooting on Tuesday of an eThekwini ANC councillor has been condemned.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said a case of murder is being investigated after the councillor was gunned down at 6pm on Tuesday.
“A 64-year-old man was jumping out of the vehicle at Engonyameni Reserve when he was fatally shot by an unknown suspect. The suspect fled the scene on foot. The motive for the killing is unknown. The matter is still under investigation,” Mbele said.
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka have condemned the “brutal murder” of eThekwini ward 84 councillor Bheki Phungula.
Hlomuka said Phungula’s murder comes at a time when public representatives, including councillors, are needed in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The loss of yet another foot soldier leaves a void in the sphere of local government in our province. An attack on councillors by forces that are hell-bent on undermining the democratic institution of local government within our province will never be tolerated. We, therefore, call upon the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to find the perpetrators of this cowardly act so that they can face the full might of the law,” said Hlomuka.
Hlomuka expressed his condolences to Phungula’s family and his colleagues in the eThekwini metro.
The MEC called upon community members to come forward with any information they may have that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.
Kaunda denounced Phungula’s murder which he said came as a “shock to all of us and it is sad that we have been robbed such a valuable leader and a dedicated servant of the people”.
The mayor said Phungula’s death would “leave a huge void”.
“We call upon the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to book and we plead with anyone who might have information, to come forward. As the community we need to assist the police to speed up the investigation so that culprits pay the price for heinous crime” Kaunda said.
The mayor conveyed his “heartfelt” condolences to Phungula’s family and friends.
Phungula’s murder comes weeks after Mtubatuba ANC councillor Philip Mkhwanazi died on the morning of 25 May in a hail of bullets outside his house in Khula Village near St Lucia, in the north of the province.
On the same day, Ethekwini ANC Youth League branch secretary Thamsanqa Kingdom Gcabashe was also fatally gunned down.
IFP councillor Thengezakhe Maphanga was also gunned down earlier in May.
Mbele said police have not made any arrests for these murders and that investigations were ongoing.
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)