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NFP councillor survives assassination attempt

By Clive Ndou

Councillor Mphathiseni Manqele is in a serious condition in hospital after a gunman opened fire on him on Tuesday.

The ANC and NFP have called on police to tighten security in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal, following an attempted assassination on a Nongoma Municipality NFP councillor.

The councillor, Mphathiseni Manqele, is in a serious condition in hospital after a gunman opened fire on him on Tuesday.

His attack comes hot on the heels of the murder of another NFP Nongoma Municipality councillor, Ntombenhle Mchunu.

NFP provincial secretary Zandile Myeni, who described Manqele’s condition as “serious”, called for the intervention of the provincial government in Nongoma.

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“The NFP calls on MEC of Community Safety Sipho Hlomuka, working together with MEC of Cogta Bongi Sithole-Moloi and the South Africa Police minister, Bheki Cele, to intensify the issue of safety of councillors,” she said.

ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said more police officers should be deployed to the Nongoma area.
“We are calling on KZN police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, to deploy more police to the area to protect communities and ensure the safety of councillors who are being targeted by … warmongers.

We trust that Mkhwanazi will assign highly experienced investigators who will extract more information from the hitman

Tensions in Nongoma escalated following the removal of the IFP municipal office-bearers through a vote of no confidence supported by the ANC, NFP and EFF.

But the IFP, which appealed to political parties to give police space to investigate the attacks, denied that any of its leaders or members were involved in the current violence.

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The attack on Manqele takes place against a background of increasing violence against KZN councillors and deepening concerns about the trend.

In June, ACDP uMhlathuze Municipality councillor John Myaba and IFP Mtubatuba Municipality councillor Innocent Mkhwanazi were killed less than six days apart.

Statistics recently released by the provincial SA Local Government Association (Salga) show that 17 KZN councillors have been assassinated in the province since September 2022, with Mchunu’s murder in July pushing the figure to 18.