KZN mayor’s, city manager’s rival bodyguards die in office shooting

Councillors and municipal officials had to run for cover as bodyguards attached to the City of uMhlathuze mayor and manager exchanged fire, leaving two dead in broad daylight.

The two said to have had longstanding ‘beef’

Circumstances that led to the unlikely occurrence are still sketchy for now. However, sources who spoke to Sunday World, tensions between the two bodyguards had been brewing for a long time. The two rivals were attached to IFP mayor Xolani Ngwezi and city manager Nkosenye Zulu. Things came to a head on Thursday morning when the two heavily armed protectors prompted terrified officials to run out for cover.

“I think they had a beef of some sort because there were rumours within the corridors of the municipality that the two were sworn enemies. I had just arrived at the office when I heard screams and a loud bang. When we ran out, one bodyguard was lying on the ground heavily bleeding,” one official not authorised to speak to the media told Sunday World on Thursday.

Staff forced to run for cover

The insider also pointed out that at first the workers thought it was an assassination attempt directed at the mayor or the city manager.

The City of uMhlathuze is located in the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal about two hours’ drive from Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Robert Netshiunda confirmed the killing, saying another bodyguard had been off duty.

First victim’s friend shot and killed the shooter

“Early investigations point to the fact that an off-duty policeman shot and killed another bodyguard. The suspect was then also shot and killed by a third bodyguard, a colleague of the first victim.

Netshiunda further said the motive for the shocking incident is not yet known, and no arrest had been made.

According to municipal spokesperson Bongani Gina, the municipality will provide more details in due course.

City confirms tragic incident

“The City of uMhlathuze Municipality regrets to inform the public of a tragic shooting incident in the early hours of this morning. It happened at the Municipal Head office in Richards Bay. Law enforcement authorities are currently on the scene to manage the situation. To also investigate the circumstances surrounding this tragic event,” said Gina.

IFP KZN chairperson Thami Ntuli also said that the party will issue a statement once it has been appraised. This pertains to what could have happened.

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