police baffled by killing of inkosi
This is how police, politicians, relatives and friends described the gunning down of Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi.
Zondi, great-grandson of the famous Zulu warrior Inkosi Bhambatha Zondi, who led the revolt against the introduction of poll tax in 1906, was ambushed early in the morning yesterday as he left the home of his fiancée in Umlazi.
A close friend of Jacob Zuma, he attended every recent court appearance involving the ANC president.
Before taking over as the inkosi of his clan, he worked as a police officer in the Umlazi murder and robbery unit until 2002.
Zondi died in a hail of bullets that riddled his vehicle. Police discovered more than 50 spent AK47 cartridges on the crime scene in Z section, Umlazi.
Police spokesman Jay Naicker said the province's organised crime unit, headed by Director Johan Booysens, would conduct the investigations.
"We do not have any motive for the killing and the matter is under investigation.
"We can say there were three occupants in the getaway vehicle. They followed him from his in-laws' home. Two of the gunmen opened fire, killing him on the spot."
Family spokesman Malibongwe Zuma said everyone was devastated.
"We do not know why he was killed. He was a people's person and had no bodyguards. We do not know of anyone being his enemy . he just loved soccer.
"He believed he had to deliver on what his famous grandfather began for his people. We don't know how we can face the community over his death."
When Sowetan visited the crime scene yesterday morning hundreds of shocked onlookers lined the street, many openly mourning his death.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele has expressed outrage at what he called a "callous murder".
"I received the news of the brutal murder of Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi while attending the yearly January cabinet lekgotla in Pretoria.
"I immediately informed President Kgalema Motlanthe as well as the Minister for Safety and Security Nathi Mthethwa. I also informed Jacob Zuma, the president of the ANC. We are being regularly updated by MEC Bheki Cele who is at the crime scene."
IFP general secretary Musa Zondi, described the brutal killing as shocking. " We condemn this murder in the strongest terms."
ANC provincial deputy secretary Sihle Zikalala described Zondi as a "pillar of development" in the area of Umsinga.
"We worked very well with him."