Fatal shooting of ANC regional leader was second attempt on his life - family
The family of murdered KwaZulu-Natal ANC regional leader has claimed that there was also an attempt on his life about two weeks ago.
Thulani Nxumalo, 63, who was the party's branch chairperson in eThekwini's Ward 12 in KwaNdengezi, was gunned down outside his home shortly after a branch executive committee meeting on Monday.
Nxumalo's cousin Mfana Zungu told News24 on Wednesday that unknown people had surrounded Nxumalo's home about two weeks ago "in an attempt to ambush him".
"According to his wife, those people even knocked on the window, but they fled when they saw his children. We believe that they were there to kill him, but he never came out of the house," said Zungu.
Zungu added that, according to Nxumalo's wife Makhosi Nxumalo – who is also the chairperson of the area's community policing forum – he had also received strange calls from unknown people.
"He used to receive calls from someone asking him where he was, and who said he had wanted to meet him. He received the calls even on the day of his murder," said Zungu.
He said Nxumalo was "a kind-hearted and peace-loving person who helped the community a lot".
"I didn't expect him to be killed in such a brutal manner," he said.
On the motive for Nxumalo's killing, he said: "As a family, we are still puzzled over the motive of his killing because his organisation hasn't mentioned whether there was a problem in the party or not."
KwaZulu-Natal Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda has urged police to work around the clock to find Nxumalo's killers.
On Tuesday, Kaunda condemned the murder and called for calm in the area and urged residents to give police space to conduct thorough investigations into the motive behind his killing.
He asked that members of the community who may have witnessed the incident share information with the police "so that whoever is implicated in the crime faces the full might of the law".
He noted that KwaNdengezi was one of the province's stable areas.
"Police will continue to maintain a strong presence in the area to ensure that incidents of crime are prevented," he said.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo confirmed Nxumalo's killing.
He said a murder case was being investigated.
"I can confirm that Thulani Nxumalo was walking on foot in KwaNdengezi when he was attacked and shot dead by unknown suspect/s."
ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said he was shocked and outraged by Nxumalo's "mysterious murder". Ntuli also described Nxumalo as a peace-loving person.
"We are severely pained by the continuous killing of community leaders in the province. We dip our banner in honour of this fallen cadre of our revolution and commit ourselves to pick up his spear and soldier on with the struggle for the betterment of our people's lives, which he waged until his last moments."
ANC spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said Nxumalo appeared to have been ambushed.
"Although the information regarding his murder remains sketchy, it appears that Comrade Nxumalo's attackers hid themselves around his home and shot him several times on his arrival."