Outrage over latest murder

Musawenkosi Mchunu who was killed outside his home in Kwa Pata last Friday evening

Ramaphosa was in Pietermaritzburg addressing mourners who had gathered at the home of murdered African National Congress (ANC) activist Musawenkosi ‘Qashana’ Mchunu who was gunned down on Friday evening at his home in KwaPata.
Mchunu had recently emerged as staunch critic of alleged corruption at Msunduzi Municipality and had led calls for senior councillors and officials to be axed from their positions, arguing that they were presiding over the collapse of governance in the municipality. In addition, he had recently led a sit-in at the Moses Mabhida ANC regional offices arguing that all office bearers should resign as “their leadership term had elapsed last year”.
Ramaphosa said he was outraged that police’s political task team had failed to make any arrests since it was established except in the case of the murder of Sifiso Cele in Margate a week ago.
“Political killings should not go unattended. Comrade Mchunu’s blood that has been spilt must strengthen the ANC. He fought for unity. This must be evident in getting him justice,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, would head the inter-ministerial probe which would include other ministers in the state security cluster. The team has been given one week to file an initial report.
“I want to know what is really happening in this province … Those responsible for these killings must be immediately arrested and brought to justice. Mchunu is the fourteenth person to be killed in this region. This must stop now. Those who did this will be found. They can hide wherever they want but Cele (Bheki Cele) will find them,” declared the president.
Angry ANC activists who had gathered outside Mchunu’s home said they believed his murder was directly related to political intolerance within the ANC especially in the build-up to regional and possibly the provincial elective conference scheduled for the end of the month.
On Saturday, former ANC Treasurer-General Dr Zweli Mkhize led a high-level delegation to the Mchunu household to pay the party’s respect to the bereaved family.
Zweli Mkhize said Mchunu’s murder was well planned. “It was cold-blooded. Emotions are very high at the moment. The family is very distraught. This needs urgent intervention,” said Mkhize.
Mchunu’s colleagues described him as a tireless and courageous individual who wanted the ANC to retain high levels of morality. A graduate from the youth league ranks under chairperson Isaiah Ntshangase Mchunu also served as a councillor at Msunduzi Municipality between 2006 and 2011. In addition to this, he served in the South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco) as an organiser.
Former Msunduzi Council Speaker Babu Baijoo described Mchunu as a humble and dedicated individual who put the interest of poor people at the forefront saying that Mchunu was at the time employed in the Speaker’s Office as Acting Public Participation Officer and was responsible for assisting households to benefit from the municipality’s indigent policy.
“He was keen to help and spent a great deal of time going through council policies to see how they benefitted household. He is a social activist who will be really missed,” said Baijoo.
Mchunu’s colleague, Sandile Dlamini from Sobantu, said they had been dealt a harsh blow with the killing.
“As a human being, one is often aware that there may be those who seek to cause harm, but we will soldier on despite this setback,” said Dlamini. He said his comrade’s killing was a further illustration that the regional conference should not be held as the prevailing conditions did not allow for such.
ANC activist Mtuza Mkhize said Mchunu’s killing would serve as a galvanising tool in their campaign to have an ANC led by “clean” leaders.

  AUTHOR
Maritzburg Sun Reporter

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