uMngeni Municipality chief whip and DA councillor Nhlalayenza Ndlovu was shot dead in his lounge in front of his family in the Tendele area near the Kamberg Nature Reserve on Tuesday.
This is according to uMngeni mayor Chris Pappas, who was speaking at the municipality’s council chambers on Wednesday.
The uMngeni Municipality has offered a reward of R100 000 for information that leads to a conviction. Anyone with information can approach the offices of the mayor, municipal manager or the manager for public safety.
Detailing the incident, Pappas said that about 7.30pm, Ndlovu, 46, was murdered in his living room where he was sitting with his wife, Pretty, their two young children aged 5 years and six months, and their nanny.
The first to arrive at the scene were personal protection officers from the mayor’s office followed by Midlands EMS, Mpophomeni police and uMngeni Municipal Law Enforcement officers. The National Task Team on political killings also attended the scene.
“Ndlovu was found face down with multiple bullet wounds to his body and to the head. These shots were fired at close range. Bullet holes were also visible through his front door. At least 10 cartridges were found last night,” Pappas said.
Pappas said Ndlovu was declared dead at the scene by emergency service personnel, and while his family were not physically harmed, “they were in shock after having witnessed the murder”.
Pappas described Ndlovu as a peacemaker and a reconciler whose most memorable characteristics as a leader were his calm demeanour and mature approach to governance and community-related matters.
“As a person, councillor Ndlovu was always available to assist, a true family man, devoted to his children, and one would never find him without a smile.
“Personally, he was a close adviser and a pillar to lean on when all seemed a little chaotic or uncertain.
“He was a good friend. He was a kind person,” Pappas said.
He said Ndlovu was another victim of South Africa’s lawlessness and the violence in its political system.
“Ndlovu cannot become another police statistic in the ongoing slaughter of councillors, amakhosi and izinduna in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The failure to decisively deal with these matters, which have long been discussed, threatens to undermine our democracy, making KwaZulu-Natal akin to a province in anarchy: a state of disorder,” said Pappas.
Political analyst Thabani Khumalo said he was frustrated by the political killings which continued unabated in the province, despite KwaZulu-Natal having held the Moerane Commission into political killings.
“I think politicians are not serious and it’s frustrating what’s happening.
As we move forward there is a big shift in political dominance.
“Coalition governments have already started, because people have lost confidence in the so-called big parties. They are now going for smaller parties and some for independent candidates,” Khumalo said.
He said if this culture of political killings was not curbed right now, these murders would become a daily occurrence.
“We are moving towards a period where politics will be highly contested and if this culture of killing is not curbed right now ... politicians will be using these killings to eliminate each other in order to gain political power,” said Khumalo.
The South African Local Government Association in KZN conveyed its condolences to Ndlovu’s family, friends and colleagues.
“In the run-up to the 2024 elections, we urge all political parties and their supporters to engage in constructive dialogue, respect differing opinions, and promote a peaceful and inclusive democratic process,” the association said.
“Violence has no place in our democratic society, and we must work collectively to ensure that the upcoming voting season is characterised by tolerance, understanding, and the peaceful exchange of ideas.”