A community meeting to elect an ANC ward councillor came to a violent and tragic end when three women, aged between 34 and 60, were killed in a drive-by shooting on Saturday.
Four other women and one man, aged between 41 and 70, were left with serious injuries at the meeting held at the Buhlebethu Primary School in Newtown in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal.
The tragic incident has sent shockwaves through the province that always sees a surge in political killings during elections.
It hasn’t been confirmed yet whether this incident is linked to political killings.
However, Bheki Ntuli, the co-ordinator of the ANC eThekwini regional task team, linked the killings to politics in his social media post after the incident.
“What a shame to all of us as members of the ANC.”
He then finished his post in Zulu, asking: “Ubabulala kanjani omama beyophakamisa ikhansela le-ANC?” meaning: “How do you kill women who are there to nominate an ANC councillor.”
Thanduxolo Sabelo, a member of the eThekwini municipality’s executive committee (Exco), said: “We bow our heads in shame.”
Brigadier Jay Naicker, the KZN police spokesperson, confirmed the incident.
Naicker said a group of people were standing at the school gate when a black Opel Corsa bakkie with five occupants drove past the school and opened fire.
“Police at Inanda are investigating three counts of murder and five of attempted murder. We can’t confirm the motive for the shooting at this stage,” said Naicker.
KZN SAPS Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi appealed to the community to expose the culprits.
“There can be no justification for such a vicious and cowardly act,” he said in a statement.
The identities of the three killed women are not yet known.
More than 33 politically motivated killings happened in KZN in 2016 ahead of the local government elections that year as confirmed by then police minister Fikile Mbalula.
This year’s elections will be held on 1 November.