Two ANC councillors in the Eastern Cape have been brutally murdered in what appears to be a drive-by shooting.
The attacks, which came days before the elective provincial conference, took place on Sunday in Kariega, Nelson Mandela Bay, killing ward 43 councillor Andile Andries and acting branch secretary Lubabalo Keso.
Local police in Kariega have launched a manhunt for the murderers with the ruling party in the Eastern Cape adding that they are working with law enforcement to ensure that justice prevails.
The motive for the shooting as well as the number of suspects remains unknown, however, reports suggest that the suspects opened fire on the councillors from a passing minibus taxi.
ANC regional secretary in Mandela Bay, Luyolo Nqakula, said the party is traumatised by the incident.
“The reasons behind this heinous crime are unknown at this stage. We are calling on law enforcement agencies to investigate as a matter of urgency so arrests can be made,” he said.
South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana revealed the details around the shooting that took place around midday on Sunday.
“It is alleged that as the councillors approached their vehicle, a Quantum minibus drove towards them and began firing several shots killing them at the scene,” he said.
Reports suggest the murder may have been linked to taxi violence, as Andries was the deputy general secretary of the Uncedo Taxi Association nationwide and the chair of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Santaco chairman in the Eastern Cape Zola Bishop Yolelo did not confirm that the killings had anything to do with the taxi industry.
“We are still trying to gather details about the incident. We are not sure whether it is taxi-related, or whether it has something to do with the ANC. We will be able to comment further once we have full details,” said Yolelo.
Eastern Cape Premier and ANC provincial convenor Oscar Mabuyane claims that the incident was an assassination.
“It is a clear assassination and it was a well-orchestrated hit motivated by bad intentions,” Mabuyane said.
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