Killing zone for councillors: Formerly peaceful region is now tearing itself apart


This is the situation in presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s Harry Gwala region in southern KwaZulu-Natal, which appears to be at war with itself.

Between April 23 and May 23 three ANC members – two councillors and a former councillor – were executed in uMzimkhulu.

As the bodies pile up, Dlamini-Zuma is said to be hugely embarrassed by the events.

So successive and brazen have the killings been that the KwaZulu-Natal ANC top five and the provincial working committee have been jolted to act.

The ANC officials will go to the troubled region today in a bid to find a solution to the escalating problem.

Regional deputy secretary and uMzimkhulu speaker Khaya Thobela was the first to be gunned down in April.

He was shot on April 20 as he arrived at his home in Mfundweni, uMzimkhulu. He died in hospital on April 23.

He was followed by former Harry Gwala councillor and branch leader Khaya Mgcwaba, who was gunned down on May 11 in uMzimkhulu.

Twelve days later on May 23 and a month after Thobela’s death, Mduduzi Tshivase, a teacher and Harry Gwala councillor, was shot at his eMachunwini home in uMzimkhulu.

Both Thobela and Tshivase were members of the S A Democratic Teachers’ Union, which organised their funerals.

“Our going there is an attempt to find out the root causes of these killings and find a solution to put an end to this,” said provincial ANC deputy secretary Mluleki Ndobe.

Ndobe also comes from the same region and is the mayor of Harry Gwala district municipality.

He said Dlamini-Zuma was embarrassed that her region was tearing itself apart.

“She’s hugely embarrassed by this and she’s very worried that it’s happening in her region.

“It’s embarrassing to all of us. This has always been a peaceful region,” said Ndobe.

The region’s ANC is due to hold an elective conference this month.

Ndobe said they would meet the regional executive committee this morning.

“This will be followed by the ANC structures at the branches, civil society, alliance partners, traditional leaders, the clergy and business people,” he said.

Ndobe said all had expressed concern about the killings.

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