ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa‚ accompanied by high-ranking members of the governing party‚ descended on the home of slain Pietermaritzburg councillor Musawenkosi Mqatha Mchunu on Monday.
Ramaphosa was accompanied by national executive members Jessie Duarte and Gwede Mantashe among others‚ amidst rising political tension and deaths in the province. Well-known former Jacob Zuma backer Roy Moodley was close by Ramaphosa’s side.
Mchunu‚ who was aligned to Ramaphosa‚ was vocal in calling for the postponement of the Moses Mabhida regional conference and the disbandment of the regional executive committee.
Ramaphosa received a resounding welcome from local ANC members during his visit to Mchunu’s family home. ANC officials were expected to meet later on Monday with the party’s provincial task team and three regions to discuss the spate of political killings which have rocked the province.
Ramaphosa told media that “it’s tough” in the province because of the murders‚ adding the party “will try” to address the situation.
Mchunu was ambushed outside his KwaPata‚ Pietermaritzburg home on Friday night by unknown assailants and Sibuyiselo Dlamini‚ an IFP councillor in the Zululand district‚ came under fire in the Ulundi area. The attacks happened within 20 minutes of each other.
A day before his death‚ Mchunu called for the elective conference in the Moses Mabhida region to be postponed.
Mchunu’s death comes just days after ANC activist Sifiso Cele was murdered on the south coast in front of his wife and children.
The killings come as the governing party in the province grapples with deep-rooted divisions in the province and in a region that has seen a spate of political killings. The party is expected to wrap up its series of elective conferences by the end of May.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a special task team would probe the killings.
Last week‚ ANC national executive member Edna Molewa‚ who was deployed to oversee the province‚ told the media that the ANC did not believe that the disputes raised by some branches were sufficient to warrant the postponement of the provincial elective conference.
She said disputes were normal and were similar to those raised before the party’s national elective conference last December.
Four regions have been identified by the party as problematic: eThekwini‚ Harry Gwala‚ Lower South Coast and Moses Mabhida‚ because of their failure to deal with infighting.