ANCYL KZN leader shot dead, suspect arrested

An ANCYL leader in KwaZulu-Natal has been shot dead in apparent politically motivated killing, the league said on Saturday.

Bongani Usher Mkhize, 25, the branch chairperson of the league in Coastal KZN TVET College's V-Section campus in Umlazi, was shot dead on Saturday morning, ANCYL KZN secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo told journalists on the sidelines of the ANC KZN provincial conference in Durban.

The 29-year-old suspect handed himself over to police and was arrested.

Brigadier Jay Naicker said charges of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm were being investigated by Umlazi police.

"The firearm that was used in the commission of the crime was also seized from the suspect. It is alleged that the two were quarrelling before the shooting occurred," he said.

Sabelo said they were deeply shocked and saddened because Mkhize was not the first youth league member to be shot dead in KZN.

"He was one up and coming shining youngster who led the biggest branch of the ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal, which is possibly the biggest branch of the league in South Africa. He was so influential that at his very young age, he was also elected to be the deputy chair of the ANC in his home ward, Ward 88, in Umlazi," he said.

"We did submit to the ANC, when they were going to submit to the Moerane Commission, that there seems to be a concerted effort to eliminate young people who are leading the ANC Youth League in the province. There are many youth league members who have since died in KwaZulu-Natal," said Sabelo.

He sent the organisation's condolences to Mkhize's family and "the entire student population of the Coastal KZN TVET College".

"He was also the president of the SRC at the college. He was a very influential young person," he said.

Sabelo called upon the minister of Police Bheki Cele to speed up investigations of political killings in KZN.

"It has gone out of hand, it is barbaric, and it is shameful and it embarrasses all of us. We believe that the perpetrators must be brought to book. You could say that these killings are politically motivated," he said.

He also asked Cele to tell the task team deployed to KZN to investigate Mkhize's killing .

"They should also prioritise why are young people of KZN being targeted," he said.

Sabelo said he couldn't speculate whether Mkhize's killing had anything to do with the current provincial elective conference.

"He was not a delegate to the conference. We have no other reason why he could be gunned down as we don’t believe he was involved in any criminal activity. So, we have every reason to believe that a political motive must be investigated," he said.

The suspect will appear in the Umlazi Magistrates Court next week.