Hunt on for cold-blooded Mtubatuba killer

The scene of the shooting on Wild Olive Road in Mtubatuba PHOTO: Mtubatuba SAPS

A POLICE manhunt is underway for the murderer of former ANC councillor Bongani Msomi, who was gunned down in cold blood at a festival in Mtubatuba on Saturday.

The shooting occurred just after 7pm when, according to police reports, an unknown man approached Msomi (51) and hugged him before shooting him execution style in the forehead, killing him instantly.

The gunman fled the scene.

Despite the shooting, the event continued until shortly after 3am on Sunday.

‘We are still gathering and verifying statements from people present at the event at the time of the shooting,’ said Mtubatuba SAPS Communications Officer, Captain Justice Hlabisa.

‘At this stage we cannot speculate if the killing was politically motivated, as there are other scenarios we are looking into as possible motive.’

Hlabisa said Msomi’s wife, a detective constable, is investigating serious crimes and recently cracked a SARS-related case involving a large sum of money.

‘We are considering the possibility that the murder could be linked, serving as a warning to her,’ said Hlabisa.

Mtuba Mayor Qhina Mkhwanazi said the shooting came as a shock since all necessary security arrangements were put in place before the event.

ANC KZN spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli condemned the killing.

‘It is a matter of great pain that the ANC continues to lose its activists who are committed to its historic mission.’

Mtubatuba SAPS has urged anyone with information about the murder to contact Detective Captain Nkabinde on 082 7195653 or 082 659 6563.

ALSO READ: BREAKING: Former ANC councillor gunned down in Mtubatuba

Public complaints

Meanwhile, Mtubatuba residents are up in arms over the planning of the three-day Simunye Cultural Festival, organised by the Mtubatuba Municipality.

‘The event was held in the heart of our residential area, yet we were not told about it until the night before it was due to start,’ said a resident, who wished to remain anonymous.

‘We were not involved in the decision-making, we were not invited to the planning meeting and we were not given the opportunity to object,’ said another resident.

Sources close to the ZO suggest the meeting, allegedly held two days prior to the event, was a staged meeting as everything had already been put in place.

Residents said they are not complaining about the staging of the event, but rather about it being held in a residential area.

The loud music could be heard on the outskirts of town, the post-event party went on from Saturday afternoon until 3am on Sunday and people were harassed by intoxicated revellers.

The event reportedly cost the municipality R750 000.

Ratepayers said when they attempted to hand over a letter containing their requests, including that the music would be turned off at 7pm, attendees would conduct themselves respectfully and the premises would be litter free, the Municipal Manager refused to accept it, or even to meet with them.

This despite these requests being seconded by a municipal councillor.

A host of planning regulations were allegedly not adhered to and Mtubatuba residents will open a case of misconduct against the municipality.

Neither the mayor nor the municipal spokesperson were available for comment.

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  AUTHOR
Tamlyn Jolly
Journalist

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