The sphere of local government in our province and country is built on the back of the work that is done by councillors who are tasked with representing the interests of their ward or constituency. They serve as a bridge between the community and the council.

This morning we once more woke up to the harrowing news of yet another assassination of a councillor in our province, this is the second assassination within the space of a week. 

On the 8th of September, two ward councillors under the Msinga Local Municipality were attacked by unknown gunmen who opened fire on the vehicle they were travelling in. In this incident, Cllr Siyanda Magubane of ward 11, unfortunately, succumbed to his injuries.

Today, we learned of the sad news of the assassination of a ward 99 councillor in eThekwini, Cllr Mnqobi Molefe, who was also gunned down by unknown gunmen. 

The pain and loss that we continue to suffer as a province in the hands of criminals that are hell-bent on weakening the sphere of local government has reached epic proportions. 

We call upon law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in their quest to apprehend the terrorists responsible for these acts of treason. 

The attacks on our councillors should be viewed as a crime against the state and the people of South Africa. 

The sphere of local government within our province will not succumb to the will of the forces of evil who seek to destabilise it. 

We call upon our communities to come forward with information that will assist law enforcement agencies in their investigations. 

We also express our condolences to the families of the councillors, their community, political party and the municipalities they served under. 

Issued by the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sihle Zikalala