ANC distances itself from MK Party members’ fatal shooting

todayMay 28, 2024 395

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Residents of Katlehong in Ekurhuleni say the recent deaths of two uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party members in the community are being exploited to fuel political tensions.

Bongani Mkhwanazi and Xolani Nzimande were shot and killed at the weekend, allegedly following a dispute with African National Congress (ANC) members.

According to their loved ones, the men had often received death threats for wearing MK Party shirts in the ANC-dominated community.

Sithembile Magasela, Jackson Mphahlele and Mduduzi Ranyao made their first appearance in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court today in connection with the double murder.

A fourth suspect was also arrested earlier after handing himself over to the police. He will appear at the same court on Thursday.

On the sidelines of the court case, YNews spoke with MK Party supporters.

MK Party’s Katlehong Coordinator, Palesa Hlatshwayo, says tensions have been simmering at Thwala Section since the party gained popularity in the area.

She claims the party is faced with constant threats and intimidation.

“Some of our political members were actually victimised. When they see you are wearing an MK T-shirt, they feel we are the biggest threat to them. We’re not sure which political party is doing this, but we are scared,” she told YNews.

However, community member and spokesperson for the local tactical response unit, Simphiwe Khumalo, disagrees.

He says the shooting was not politically motivated.

Khumalo told YNews that the accused men, three of whom work for private security company Thatha Zonke, were responding to an altercation between the MK Party supporters and a local taxi owner, which escalated out of control.

While the local tactical response unit spokesperson acknowledged that some of the accused have ties to the ANC, he maintains that the incident was not politically driven.

The ANC in Ekurhuleni has since distanced itself from the incident and called for calm in the community.

It’s also called for political tolerance and restraint in the lead-up to tomorrow’s crucial vote to decide on the next leader of government. Written by Naomi Kobbie

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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