Abahlali baseMjondolo has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to set up an independent committee to investigate the killing of their leaders, after chairperson S’fiso Ngcobo was killed on Tuesday night.
Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed a ministerial team to investigate political killings in KwaZulu-Natal. This came after former ANC ward councillor Musawenkosi Mchunu was shot dead in Pietermaritzburg. According to Ramaphosa 14 politicians have been killed in the Moses Mabhida Region since the beginning of 2016. A member of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Sibuyiselo Dlamini, was shot the same night in Ulundi.
Abahlali chairperson and president of the Ekukhanyeni branch Sbu Zikode said five members of the movement had been killed in eight months.
Ngcobo was shot by three unknown men at his home in Ehlathini in Dassenhoek, said Zikode. Ngcobo was taken to Marianhill hospital where he died.
“Ngcobo was shot seven times. The killers wanted to ensure that he was dead. He was shot in his head and his body.”
Zikode said Ramaphosa’s task team did not include Abahlali members. “Our members are not represented. That is worrying. We are always isolated as a movement and that raises a lot of questions” said Zikode.
He said police had taken three hours to come to the scene of Ngcobo’s killing although the police station is three kilometres from his home.
“In the space of eight months eight members of the movement have been killed. Those cases have been reported to the police. Not even one has been thoroughly investigated. There have been no arrests.”
Zikode said Abahlali was fighting for the right to land. “The question of land is part of why Ngcobo was killed.”
Colonel Thembeka Mbhele of the SAPS KZN media centre said Ngcobo had been killed by three unknown men. She said Ngcobo had been at his home in Ehlathini Shack Dwellers in Dassenhoek. “The suspects opened fire, wounding him on the body. He was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The motive for the attack is unknown. A case of murder was opened at Marianhill police station for investigation,” said Mbhele.
Ngcobo was a breadwinner with four children. The family was not available for comment.
The secretary of Abahlali in Ekukhanyeni Bheki Mnyende described Ngcobo as someone who stood for the truth and cared for poor people. “He was brave and courageous. All he wanted was for the residents to have a better life. He fought all our struggles with the municipality and ward councillors. He opened a crèche because he wanted black children to learn. We were still looking for funding and donations for the crèche to operate,” said Mnyende.
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