graft buster shot dead in his office

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal social development employee Thembinkosi Dlamini, 37, who was shot dead in his office on Wednesday, was recently assigned to root out fraud and corruption at the Ngwelezane welfare office at Empangeni in the North Coast.

He was the manager at the branch.

Police spokesman Superintendent Muzi Mngomezulu said the manager had been on leave and had returned to work last week.

Mngomezulu said two alleged killers entered the child welfare building and proceeded to Dlamini's office. Several shots went off and the gunmen fled on foot.

Dlamini died at the scene.

Police could not confirm whether or not Dlamini's killing was linked to his fight against corruption.

MEC for social development Meshack Radebe yesterday condemned the killing and said he believed Dlamini's death was linked to his "no-nonsense approach to corruption".

"He had been seconded from Umlazi, where he had a successful record in fighting corruption."

Radebe yesterday pleaded with MEC for safety and security Bheki Cele to assign a top task team to invebstigate the murder.

Radebe met Dlamini's shocked colleagues and his family and ordered that arrangements be made for the office's staff to receive counselling.

"It is painful when a young innocent man is killed in coldblood. I visited his young wife and family. They are all shocked.

"I believe that a team of outside investigators will be able to get to the bottom of this.

"People will feel free to talk to people from outside the area," Radebe said.

A colleague said Dlamini was known as a "no-nonsense" official.

He was recently appointed by Radebe to root out corruption in the area. Dlamini is credited with having brought to a halt fraudulent and corrupt activities within the department.

There are claims that the elderly and the disabled had been forced to pay bribes to certain officials before their applications were processed.

Last week, Radebe said his department was facing grants payments backlogs because of corrupt officials who exploited the poor.

He named 13 offices where graft was prevalent, with Ngwelezane being the worst offender.