Abducted IFP leader found dead

Body of eThekwini municipality councillor Themba Xulu of KwaMashu found with multiple gunshot wounds

IN THE latest of what appears to be politically motivated murders in KwaZulu-Natal, an IFP councillor who was abducted on Friday has been found dead.

Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that the body of eThekwini municipality councillor Themba Xulu of KwaMashu had been found yesterday afternoon in a decomposed state with "multiple gunshot wounds" near Inanda.

Xulu was abducted by a group of unknown men masquerading as police officers from Pinetown

Another IFP member, Celiwe Shezi, 31, was shot and killed when violence erupted near the KwaMashu men's hostel on Saturday.

The violence at the hostel comes after the killing of NFP member Zakheni Sipha-mandla Gwala, the son of NFP councillor Bhungu Gwala.

The spokesman for Shezi's family, Nkanyiso Ntuli, said Shezi and other IFP members were ambushed near the hostel. He said the family knows who were behind Shezi's "assassination".

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said that police were investigating Shezi's death, but no arrests had been made.

In a report on politically related killings to the KwaZulu-Natal legislature on August 2, transport, community safety and liaison MEC Willies Mchunu said more than 30 possible politically related murders had taken place in the province since mid-2011.

Mchunu cited at least 17 ANC members, 10 NFP members and five IFP members as victims in this period.

Nearly two weeks ago, after an ANC ward councillor was killed and two more members shot at a branch meeting in Welbedacht outside Durban, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu called for a commission of inquiry into the murders.

" In our view, they are political. We want all political murders to be investigated, not just those of ANC members," Mthembu said.

Yesterday, the situation remained tense at the hostel, while the police maintained their presence in the area that has become notorious for violence between IFP and NFP members.

The IFP leader in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, Blessed Gwala, urged IFP members to be calm and refrain from taking the law into their own hands.

Naicker said national police commissioner Riah Phiyega had granted KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni's request of 110 additional police officers from the tactical response and public order units to monitor the situation at the hostel.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has established a task team to investigate the murders.

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