Durban - The shooting of three ANC area executive committee members in Chatsworth on Wednesday night may have been politically motivated, party spokesman Senzo Mkhize, said on Thursday.
Councillor and ward chairman, Msizeni Ximba, deputy chairman Sibusiso Mpanza and Bulelani Mjoli were critically injured in the shooting.
A source close to the ANC said Ximba had been shot five times in the body, one of the other men was shot in the head.
The gunmen then fled.
The attack took place at about 6pm as a local ANC held a branch meeting at the iMbaliyethu Primary School.
Mkhize said the wounded men were taken to RK Khan Hospital and are in stable condition.
“According to the report I received this morning, two gunmen raided the meeting last night. One of them opened fire and after running out of bullets, let the other man take over,” said Mkhize.
A source, who asked not to be named, said he was at the meeting when the gunmen stormed the classroom.
“I don’t remember them saying anything, they just walked in and fired lots of gunshots and left.”
He said he had never seen the gunmen before and could not say whether they were members of the party.
A woman who asked not to be named said she had been part of the meeting earlier. She left the meeting before the shootings and heard gunshots soon after she arrived at her home nearby.
The shooting follows the recent killings of ANC leaders in the province, including the most recent, where Dumisani Malunga and Bheki Chiliza of the oShabeni Branch in Port Shepstone, were killed after a branch meeting. The murder was politically motivated by a rival in the party who was vying for the leadership in that branch.
Mkhize said the recent spate of shootings of high-ranking ANC members made it difficult to dismiss the possibility that the shooting might have been politically-motivated.
“We can’t deny that these incidents have been happening more and more; some are as a result of in-fighting, and others as a result of inter-party conflicts,” he said.
Mkhize said the party was trying to keep an open mind about the reasons behind the shooting.
“This is something relatively new; in the past, if we did not agree on something, we discussed and debated. We did not resort to violence and shooting people.”
The Daily News contacted zonal chairperson of the ANC in Chatsworth Visvin Reddy, who refused to comment, referring the matter to provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala.
ANC leaders, including Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo, deputy mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala and various councillors were at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday night.
About 30 party members arrived at the hospital in support of the wounded men.