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Jimmy Mohlala, the ANC's Mbombela municipality manager who blew the whistle on alleged corruption around the R1 billion 2010 construction project, was shot dead at his home in KaNyamazane outside Nelspruit on Sunday night.
His son, who was injured during the incident, is in hospital.
Mohlala was in the news about a year ago after reports that some ANC members wanted him sacked for blowing the whistle on a colleague, Mbombela municipal manager Jacob Dladla.
Shortly after that, the ANC recalled Mohlala but he refused to step down. At the time of his killing the party was in the process of taking disciplinary action against him.
His nephew, Patrick Mohlala, yesterday spoke of the incident that has sent shock waves through the province's political circles.
Patrick said his uncle was sitting outside his mansion with family members when he asked his 19-year-old son Tshepiso to park his Mercedes-Benz C350 in the garage.
"Three young men entered the yard and went straight to Tshepiso in the garage," said a still shocked Patrick. "The sound of gunfire was heard and my uncle rushed for the stairs, apparently in an attempt to get his gun from the safe.
"The three men followed him and fired a shot that hit him in the back."
He said Mohlala died on the spot. The attackers fled from the scene without taking anything from the family household.
Mohlala's wife, Bonnie Dlazi-Mohlala, was too shocked to speak to anyone.
KaNyamazane police spokes-man Captain Phillip Fakude said the police would leave no stone unturned in their investigations.
No arrests had been made by yesterday.
Mpumalanga MEC for local government and housing, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, applauded Mohlala for the sterling work he has done for the municipality.