South African candidate for the councillor post has been gunned down in what seems like a series of coordinated political assassinations, just a few days to the November 1 local government elections.
Dumisani Qwabe, the National Freedom Party (NFP) ward 17 contestant, was shot dead and burnt inside his car in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Tuesday.
Another murder incident happened on Wednesday, when the African National Congress (ANC) youth league coordinator Mpume Sangweni was shot in Ekurhuleni, the East Region of the Gauteng province.
This comes a week after an Economic Freedom Front candidate Thulani Shangase was gunned down in the Midlands in the same province.
The latest killing brings the total number of murdered politicians in KZN in the run-up to the upcoming polls to six.
At least 10 other people have been killed around South Africa ahead of the elections, eight of whom are members of the ruling African National Congress.
NFP secretary-general Canaan Mdletshe said the fact that Qwabe’s car had bullet holes and also blood stains “indicates to us he could have been shot and killed before the car was set ablaze.”
“It's a worrisome situation as this happens just five days before the elections,” Mr Mdletshe said.
He reiterated their call for the deployment of soldiers and intensification of South African Police Services intelligence in some parts of KZN known to be crime hotspots.
“As things stand, our candidates in Nongoma are not safe. They are scared to continue with campaigns, and this does not augur well for democracy in general,” he added.
The ANC youth league, the national youth task force (NYTT), called on law enforcement agents to act swiftly and put to an end the heinous crimes.
“Criminals continue to instill fear in our people and affect their normal lives. The NYTT calls for the swift apprehension of the brazen criminals responsible for this heinous crime,” ANC NYTT spokesperson Sizophila Mkhize said in a statement.
Some candidates say they continue to receive threats and are now living in fear of a possible bloodbath.
Police in KZN also confirmed Qwabe’s murder.
“Magudu police received a report of a motor vehicle that caught fire on the R66 between Pongola and Nongoma. On arrival, they found a man inside the vehicle,” said KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.
No arrests have been made pertaining to the incident yet.