Shock sets in over DA councillor’s sinister killing
Friends and colleagues believe motive is political
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”.
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.