Threatened CFO shot dead
After death threats, Simo Mncwabe resigned a day before shooting
MPOFANA Municipality’s chief financial officer received death threats, causing him to hastily vacate his top-ranked position — a day before he was murdered.
Sources in the Mooi River-based municipality as well as members of 39-year-old Simo Mncwabe’s family yesterday revealed that he had resigned as the municipality’s chief financial officer amid threats to his life.
Mncwabe died yesterday in a hail of gunfire a kilometre away from his home in Henley near Edendale while taking his two children to school.
The children escaped the attack with minor injuries.
Sources said the grave threats, which his family and colleagues were yesterday hesitant to discuss, forced Mncwabe to resign — Tuesday was his last day at work.
At about 6.30 am yesterday, Mncwabe was ambushed by an unknown man who police said was wearing “dark clothes and a black hat”.
It is believed the gunman, who hid in an abandoned roadside plot, shot at Mncwabe with a high-powered assault rifle, riddling his posh BMW SUV with more than a dozen bullets.
It is believed Mncwabe tried to speed off but when he came around a bend a few metres away, lost control and crashed into a brick wall.
It was then that the gunman allegedly approached the vehicle and shot Mncwabe at close range.
Kwa-Zulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Shooz Magudulela said Mncwabe was found with multiple gunshot wounds on the chest and arm, but his children escaped with minor injuries.
Mncwabe’s brother, Jabulani, told The Witness yesterday that he could not think of a reason why someone would want to kill his brother.
“He [Mncwabe] was a humble guy. As far as I know, he did not have any enemies. But those who killed him knew what they were doing,” Jabulani said.
Sibu Mkhize, Mncwabe’s childhood friend, said Mncwabe was recently married and that his children are “still quite young”.
“Whenever his wife drives past here, she will be reminded of the brutal murder. His children are too young to have witnessed this,” Mkhize said, pointing to the wreckage, as Mncwabe’s family and friends wept inconsolably at the scene of the murder.
Late last year, the Mpofana Municipality came out of administration after its council was dissolved in 2014.
It was then that Mncwabe was appointed, and in a statement to The Witness at the time, he had said he came into a municipality that was “on its knees”.
Mpofana Democratic Alliance councillor Nhlalayenza Ndlovu said the party knew about the threats Mncwabe received.
“Even when Mncwabe resigned, we tried to convince him to stay, but we let it go because we knew his life was at stake. The municipality still needed him. He was one of the best-performing CFOs,” Ndlovu said.
Mpofana Mayor Maureen Magubane described Mncwabe as a “good CFO” who got things done even though he was short-staffed. Clearly shaken, Magubane said she sent her condolences to the family.
In a statement yesterday, MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube called on law enforcement agencies to “investigate this incident speedily and bring to book those responsible for it”.
“We have consistently condemned violence which occurs sporadically in the province’s municipalities, but which tends to flare up in the run-up to elections as is the case now when the 2016 local government elections are only three months away,” Dube-Ncube said.
The scene of the shooting where Mpofana Municipality chief financial officer Simo Mncwabe was gunned down after leaving his home near Henley Dam yesterday.
The bullet-riddled vehicle. Several shots pierced the back window. Mncwabe’s children were in the car.
Mpofana Municipality chief financial officer Simo Mncwabe.