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Police: Not enough info to conclude that charred human remains found in burnt car are of NFP councillor candidate

The police in Magudu in northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) are investigating an inquest after charred human remains were found in a burnt vehicle.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said at approximately 9.55pm on Monday night, police at Magudu received a complaint of a motor vehicle on fire on the R66 between Nongoma and Pongola.

“Police had discovered a badly burnt human body inside the vehicle.

“The purpose of the inquest is to determine the circumstances and the cause of death of the person found inside the vehicle.

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“In the meantime,  ownership of thee vehicle has been confirmed and the owner had stated that the  vehicle was being used by her missing brother, a National Freedom Party [NFP] councillor candidate.

“However, this information is not sufficient to conclude at this stage that the body may be that of the councillor candidate.

“We are appealing to anyone with any information that could assist this investigation to please contact the SAPS on 086 00 10111 or via the MySAPSApp. All information will be treated with strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous,” Naidoo said.

The NFP said on Tuesday morning that its kwaNongoma, ward 17, councillor candidate, Dumisani Qwabe, was fatally shot and his body was found in a burning car.

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NFP secretary-general Canaan Mdletshe reportedly said that the police had said that the car had bullet holes and blood stains and that suspicion was that Qwabe may have been shot first before being placed in the car which was then burnt.

Mdletshe said Qwabe’s murder was worrisome as it occurred a few days before the 1 November 2021 local government elections, adding that the NFP has in the past called for soldiers to be deployed and for police presence to be intensified in parts of the province known to be hotspots.

Mdletshe said the party’s candidates in kwaNongoma are now living in fear and are scared to continue with their campaigning.

Qwabe’s murder comes just over a week after an aspiring Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) ward 20 in Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) councillor, Michael Thulani Shangase was fatally gunned down.

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Shangase’s murder came days after ANC ward councillor candidate in Cator Crest, ward 101, Siyabonga Mkhize  was shot and killed.

During an ANC mayoral debate on Monday, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said considering that the SAPS do not have the sufficient personnel to conduct threat assessments to determine the threat on the municipality’s councillors at a time of many politicians being killed in the area, the city has from July to September had to spend about R70 million on security for councillors.

Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele recently said that since the establishment of the KZN South African Police Service (SAPS) Political Task Team, its work has resulted in 284 arrests, nine convicts being sentenced to life behind bars and with 22 others serving jail terms between 10 and 50 years.

Cele made the comments following the conviction of KZN hitman Fisokuhle Ntuli (who is also implicated in the Senzo Meyiwa murder) who in 2016 shot and killed African National Congress (ANC) councillor in kwaNongoma Thami Goodwill Nyembe.

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