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Wednesday, 03 April 2024 15:40

Mpumalanga ANC ward councillor Thabo Ngwenya gunned down at his home.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The African National Congress (ANC) ward councillor, Thabo Ngwenya, was shot dead at his home in Mpumalanga on Tuesday evening.

Police Spokesperson Donald Mdhluli says that four unknown armed suspects wearing balaclavas entered the councillor's home before shooting him.

"They entered the house and found the 35-year-old man with his wife. They removed the balaclavas before they shot him twice. A report was given that the wife was assaulted."

"They then left and took some cellphones, as well as his bakkie and fled the scene. The man was then rushed to a nearby hospital and, unfortunately, he later succumbed to his injuries. We are investigating a case of murder and robbery," Mdhluli said.

Ngwenya was also a Chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee in the Nkomazi Municipality.

Research commissioned by South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has highlighted the following increasing trends showing how unsafe councillors' lives have become: 

  • Security threats at offices and homes;
  • Councillor's family held up in their homes;
  • Extortion of money from councillors;
  • Intimidation from gangsters related to building projects;
  • Threats for executing official responsibilities;
  • Killing of both councillors and officials; and
  • Damage to moveable and immovable property. 

Concerns have been raised about the spate of political killings especially in KZN.

Except for a few incidents in the province involving members of other parties such as the DA, IFP, National Freedom Party and EFF, the violence predominantly targets ANC members.

According to statistics issued by Police Minister Bheki Cele last year, in his capacity as chairperson of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Political Killings in KwaZulu-Natal, 155 political figures were assassinated between 2011 and September 2023.