Shock sets in over DA coun­cil­lor’s sin­is­ter killing

Friends and col­leagues be­lieve mo­tive is po­lit­i­cal

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SANDISO PHALISO

FRIENDS and col­leagues of mur­dered DA coun­cil­lor Xo­lile Gwangxu be­lieve his death was ei­ther “po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated or per­sonal, but not a rob­bery”.

Eye­wit­nesses said Gwangxu was shot dead af­ter meet­ing with two of his col­leagues out­side the Philippi East Hall, where his of­fice was sit­u­ated.

Coun­cil­lor Siqhamo Batala was talk­ing with Gwangxu when the at­tacker walked up to them and fired a shot at Gwangxu.

“That was not a rob­bery. That per­son knew him very well. No words were ut­tered,” Batala said.

Batala said he had been in a meet­ing with MPL Tan­deka Gqada and Gwangxu at the com­mu­nity hall to dis­cuss chal­lenges their con­stituency faced.

Gqada was in­side the car while Batala and Gwangxu were talk­ing. “The sus­pect had his hands on his pocket and was wear­ing a hoodie. He with­drew a firearm and in a blink of an eye shot Gwangxu. I fell on the ground, as did Xo­lile. Af­ter the shoot­ing, he walked down the street,” said Batala.

“This heart­less per­son took noth­ing from him.

“He came straight to him and shot him at close range,” he added.

Gwangxu’s fam­ily were shocked to learn of his shoot­ing on so­cial me­dia.

His cousin James Nd­abeni said the news “spread like wild­fire”.

“Peo­ple should re­frain from break­ing such news on so­cial net­works plat­forms,” he said.

Nd­abeni said he learnt of Gwangxu’s death from a call he re­ceived from a fam­ily mem­ber in the East­ern Cape, who had en­quired about con­do­lence mes­sages posted on Gwangxu’s Face­book page.

“Break­ing news on Face­book is ap­palling and should not be al­lowed to hap­pen,” said Nd­abeni.

“I tried call­ing his num­ber but could not get through. I called an­other fam­ily mem­ber who also got to know about the death on so­cial me­dia,” said Nd­abeni.

He said Gwangxu was sup­posed go to the East­ern Cape this week­end.

“He was loved by peo­ple and this is shock­ing,” said Nd­abeni.

Gwangxu’s brother, Zongezile Gwangxu, de­scribed the DA coun­cil­lor as a lov­ing, car­ing and down-to-earth in­di­vid­ual.

Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille’s spokesper­son Zara Ni­chol­son said she was of­fer­ing R50 000 for any in­for­ma­tion which would lead to the ar­rest of the as­sailant.

“We will do all we can and work with the author­i­ties to en­sure that the per­pe­tra­tor is brought to book and faces the full might of the law,” she said.

DA West­ern Cape act­ing leader Bonginkosi Madik­izela praised Gwangxu as a “hard-work­ing and ded­i­cated ser­vant of his com­mu­nity”.

PIC­TURES: PHANDO JIKELO AND IN­STA­GRAM

MUR­DER SCENE: Po­lice and fam­ily mem­bers stand over the body of DA coun­cil­lor Xo­lile Gwangxu, inset, who was fa­tally shot at point-blank range on Wed­nes­day night in Philippi East. He was shot in the head by an un­known as­sailant.

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