First bloodshed in KwaMashu ‘war zone’ as 23-year-old is killed

Police are investigating the murder of a Lindelani man who was apparently gunned down as xenophobic clashes erupted and spread from neighbouring KwaMashu to nearby townships on Monday night.

Another man‚ thought to be his brother‚ was wounded and survived the shooting.

This is seemingly the first bloodshed from the violent riots in the northern Durban township‚ which started on Monday.

The violence is believed to have been triggered by claims — circulated via social media — that foreign nationals were abducting children from local schools — a claim described as “fake news” by multiple safety and security officials‚ and by the education department.

Sthembiso Mbonambi, 23, is understood to have been walking along a road when he was shot dead.

His father‚ Bonginkosi Mbonambi‚ said he believed his son’s slaying was linked to the wave of unrest which washed over the Durban township.

Lindelani is KwaMashu’s immediate western neighbour.

“I believe the incident is linked to the unrest that erupted in KwaMashu last night as it spilled over to this township as well‚” Mbonambi said.

A clearly distraught Mbonambi could not be drawn to comment on where Sthembiso was going to or coming from‚ or if he was part of the protests.

Youths march in KwaMashu amidst violence triggered by claims — circulated via social media — that foreign nationals were abducting children from local schools
Picture: Jackie Clausen

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident and said the motive for the murder was unknown.

“Two brothers were allegedly shot at Mpangele Road in Lindelani. They were both taken to hospital for medical attention and the 23-year-old died on arrival whereas the other one is still receiving treatment. The motive of the shooting is unknown at this stage. Ntuzuma police are investigating a case of murder and attempted murder. No arrests have been made at this stage‚” he said.

Police remain on high alert following the spate of civil disobedience with foreign nationals and their property targeted by angry community members.

Meanwhile‚ KZN cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has called on councillors to hold urgent meetings with communities to try and quell the violence which “seems to be spiralling out of control”.

“We appeal to all councillors to play an active role in calming the situation and end the violence that is currently taking place. Communities are urged to exercise restraint and raise their concerns through their local leaders so that they can be responded to. Any issues of concern to communities must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue. Violence and taking the law to your own hands can only make the situation worse‚” Dube-Ncube said.

– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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