Youth leader assassinated at his home

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The fear of renewed political violence has gripped KwaZulu-Natal following a spate of high-profile killings in the past three weeks.

Residents are still reeling from the brutal killing of Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi, son of a prominent Zulu chief.

Within 18 hours of Zondi's assassination, another high-profile politician, ANC Youth League leader S'thembiso Cele, 27, was shot and killed at his home in Umgababa, south of Durban, in front of his three-year-old son Sakhele.

According to his brother Musa, a single 9mm bullet was fired through a window and killed Cele on Thursday night.

These two incidents follow the assassination of well-known IFP Youth Brigade chairman, Bhekinkosi Dube, in the Umkhanyakude district two weeks ago.

The sentiment in the region is that more political killings can be expected ahead of this year's general election.

Cele, pictured far right, was described as having dedicated his life to the ANC's vision for youth development.

His brother Musa said his family is trying to come to terms with his death.

"S'the was a brother and a friend to me. He had no enemies that I know of. He had a big heart for the ANC and youth development," he said.

Musa said he had every reason to believe that his killing was political motivated.

"Before he died we watched the soapie Generations. A few minutes later, I heard a gun shot. His child came crying to tell me that he was shot and was dying."

Cele left his family with a series of poetic text messages.

In a recent one to his sister, he wrote: "Hey big sister! When God deployed you in this land little did your family know that a leader was born."

The Cele family lost their other son S'manga in political violence between the ANC and the IFP in the 1980s.