Newly elected eThekwini ANC councillor, Muzumuni ‘Mzi’ Ngiba, survived an assassination attempt.
Ngiba, the ward 101 councillor, told The Witness that he was attacked by a group of armed men on Sunday night outside the Cato Crest community hall.
The hall was a voting station for the eThekwini Municipality ward committee elections that were being held over the weekend. “It was dark at night so I did not see much, but once we got out of the hall there was a group of men waiting for us, they fired gunshots towards us and we obviously dispersed and ran away,” said Ngiba.
“It was a scary experience but we are doing fine.”
Ngiba said he and his entourage immediately drove to the nearby Mayville Police Station for safety.
Ngiba said no one was hurt but his bakkie now has a bullet hole in the rear.
Ngiba was elected as ward councillor last month in a by-election following the murder of ANC councillor candidate, Siyabonga Mkhize. Mkhize was shot and killed while doing door-to-door campaigning for the municipal elections.
He went on to win the elections posthumously, prompting a by-election.
The Witness reported on ward 101’s by-elections and mentioned that Ngiba always surrounded himself with two armed bodyguards. Ahead of the ward committee elections, Ngiba said he had not heard of any threats to his life.
Janus Horn, chairperson of the Manor Gardens Ratepayers Association, said he asked Ngiba for the voting venue to be changed from the community hall as residents did not feel safe.
The area had seen intense protests following the death of Abahlali BaseMjondolo member, Ayanda Ngila, last week.
Ngila was shot and killed in the Khenana informal settlement, which falls under ward 101. Ngiba said he understood the safety concerns of the residents in his community. “What I can say is that if people have a problem, we should resolve them by talking and not attacking each other with guns,” he said.
Thabani Nyawose, eThekwini Municipality speaker, said the attempt on Ngiba’s life was being investigated by the police.
23 by-elections remain
Nyawose said 33 of 56 elections had been completed. The next ward elections are due on March 20. For a ward committee election to proceed, 200 people need to be present for the meeting.
Sakhile Ngidi, ward 33 councillor, said it was “problematic” that less than a hundred people showed up for the meeting.