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Traditional leader escapes murder attempt

By Celani Sikhakhane

The war against traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal continues. In the latest attempt a prominent Camperdown chief survived, but two members of his family were killed during the attack on Wednesday night.

Unknown assailants attacked Inkosi Sibonelo Ngcobo of the KwaNyavu clan in Camperdown near Pietermaritzburg at his home. It follows similar attacks in the past fortnight.

On Sunday KZN bade farewell to two prominent traditional leaders: iNduna Squmfe Mkhize from uMbumbulu in Durban, the leader of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s regiments, and Inkosi Zwelakhe Ndaba of Ntabamhlophe in Escourt, were buried.

Their funerals followed that of Inkosi Walter Ngcobo from Thoyane traditional council in Magabheni near Port Shepstone, who was laid to rest after being gunned down at his home.

The motives for the spate of killings are unclear. Speculation ranges from political to intra-clan tensions, but what is clear is that these are all hits, seeing that they take place at the chiefs’ homes. Most chiefs don’t have bodyguards, leaving them vulnerable to such attacks.

Last year 11 chiefs were killed in attacks, with three so far this year.

Speaking about the narrow escape of inkosi Ngcobo and the death of two of Ngcobo’s family members, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Bongi maSithole Moloi said the continued attacks on traditional leaders invoke anger and sadness.

“It is shocking how people are making a mockery of such an invaluable institution of our society and are blatantly playing with the lives of our leaders,” said Moloi.

She said her department is working with law enforcement agencies, other departments and other organs of state to ensure that measures are put in place to ensure the amakhosi’s safety.

Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said an investigation is still underway and no arrests have been made so far.

Pictured above: Bullets with a gun

Image source: Pexels

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