The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) say the killing of its candidate for Ward 20 in the Msunduzi Municipality,  Thulani Shangase, is politically motivated. He was shot dead in the KwaCaluza area, outside Pietermaritzburg.

Within three days, two ward candidates in KwaZulu-Natal lost their lives in attacks. Shangase is believed to have come from a campaign meeting when he was shot twice and died on the scene.

His family is devastated.

“I went to the scene and saw that he was gone, I had to call other family members. We are seriously puzzled, he left home going to a meeting and never came back,” says a relative Nonjabulo Sokhela.

EFF Central Command Team’s Mathapelo Siwisa led a party delegation to visit the Shangase family.

Siwisa says Shangase was a strong candidate. She believes with him being killed, there is a strong chance that the ward might be won by the African National Congress.

“Back in 2016, he contested and gave other parties a tough time; for sure he was going to win this ward. So, if you do not want to lose something you would rather eliminate your competitor and be left alone. We want to assure people of Ward 20 that in his honor, whether he is here or not here, no ANC or IFP or other party is going to tell us where to campaign, we definitely know he was giving them a tough time in Ward 20 and that is why we are labelling it a political killing.”

Police have activated their 72-hour strategy to hunt down those who killed Shangase.

“We have mobilised the 72-hour Activation Plan which entails the mobilisation of specialised units such as Crime Intelligence, the KZN Political Task Team, detectives, and DPCI to ensure that evidence, intelligence, and information, which can help track and arrest those responsible is gathered. We are appealing to anyone with information to please contact the SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111,” says police spokesperson Vish Naidoo.

Violence monitor and analyst Mary De Haas says that it is concerning that there seem to be less political killings convictions:

For now, no one has been arrested in connection with the murder of Shangase.