Another Kariega leader shot dead
Two shootings one year apart have unnerved the community
- The latest murder of a community leader in KwaNobuhle has sent shock waves through the township.
- Siyabonga “Nomvete” Stemele was shot dead almost exactly one year after Luyanda “Ngamla” Manyamu was killed at the same site.
- Both men were strong supporters of local only contractors for developmental projects.
Shack dwellers in Area 11 of KwaNobuhle in Kariega are in shock after Siyabonga “Nomvete” Stemele, chair of the community development committee, was shot last week, 7 September, at his office. He was rushed to Laetitia Bam Day hospital where he died.
His deputy, Luyanda “Ngamla” Manyamu, was shot dead, also on a Thursday, on 15 September 2022, at the same site.
“It makes me scared that two deaths occurred on the same day and same month … in the same office, exactly within a year,” said resident Nomthunzi Rooibaard. “Going in there again to attend a meeting … won’t be easy.”
“We took a break for about six months after Manyamu was gunned down,” she said.
Stemele was 41. He is survived by his wife, Nakhane, and a son, Lutho, aged 9.
According to a statement by police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu, three unknown men entered a meeting at the office and demanded to see Stemele outside. He was then shot several times.
“The motive for the senseless attack is unknown at this stage and police are investigating a case of murder. Suspects not yet arrested,” said Naidu.
A witness, who did not want to be named, said one man shot Stemele in the neck, and when Stemele fought back, another man shot him in his side and in his back.
Stemele’s family spokesperson, Nontuthuzelo “Nomgqusho” Stemele, said according to a nurse at the hospital her cousin was shot eight times.
“We as the family are still shocked and disbelieving in the cruel murder of our older brother, ” she said. “It’s a wound we will never heal.”
Nakhane Stemele said the saddest part was to ferry her shot husband to hospital while he was breathing and witness him die so painfully in a hospital bed.
“He was a people’s person who played his role in uplifting the lives of people of Area 11. Rest in peace Gqwashu, Gxiya,” she wrote on her WhatsApp status.
Households in Area 11 will contribute R20 to assist the family with his burial.
Some residents believe the motive is connected to tenders. Both Stemele and Manyamu were members of small businesses, and believed that no one outside the ward should benefit from any of projects there, including the tarring of roads, clearing of bushes, installation of sewer pipes and building of bungalows. Manyamu used to say “the grass of ward 45 should be eaten by the goats of ward 45”.
The Area 11 Business Forum Office where the murders took place had just been rebuilt at a cost of R28,000 with zinc sheets. It was originally built by residents after then-ward 45 councillor Siphiwo Plaatjies’s office was burnt down in a protest over the hiring of a “tea girl”.
The funeral will be on Saturday, 16 September.
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