Before the blood of Nceba Dywili – the Port Elizabeth ward councillor killed last Tuesday – had dried, another local ANC leader had received death threats.
The councillor from another ward in the city, whose name is known to City Press, was allegedly threatened by an ANC colleague on Wednesday morning.
“He told me that this weekend, bazakundolusa [they will give me a second initiation],” he said.
“It sounded like a direct threat to me and I was surprised at how he boldly said it, in front of other comrades.”
The threat was made the same day national ANC leaders – treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas – visited Dywili’s family to offer their condolences.
Dywili (35), Ward 4 candidate in the Walmer township, was gunned down in front of the home of an ANC volunteer, Thandeka Mazawule. Dywili was dropping Mazawule off after electioneering.
Mazawule’s mother, Ntombise, told City Press that moments after they parked outside the gate, she heard four gunshots.
“Immediately after the gunshots, Thandeka opened the door in a rush screaming that we should switch off the lights, Nceba had been shot. Just as I stepped outside the house, I saw Nceba’s car. He was lying just outside his car, with the driver’s door wide open,” she said.
Dywili and Mazawule, who had also been also shot, were rushed to Dora Nginza Hospital where Dywili died minutes later. Mazawule is still in hospital.
The threatened ward councillor said he was living in fear.
The man said the ANC member who threatened him made it clear that he had reached his expiry date in the ANC.
“I will not live my life in fear just because some individuals want us out of the way for their selfish reasons and motives,” the councillor said.
This is not the first time a ward candidate had been threatened or attacked in the city.
A month ago, Ward 15 candidate Celia Mthathi (54) was attacked at her home in New Brighton. Two men entered through the back door and fired shots at her. She grabbed a heater and threw it at the gun. She sustained burns from the heater and was treated at a local hospital.
National ANC leaders expressed their concern at the political violence during their visit to Dywili’s home.
Speaking at a brief service held in Dywili’s honour, Mkhize said the family was not alone in their pain.
“As we arrive here, torn by the sadness of the news of the loss of our comrade, your son Nceba’s life, we want you to know that this is a tremendous blow to all of us. To us, your son is a brother and comrade too,” he said.
ANC provincial executive committee member Lindelwa Dunjwa said the ANC was devastated about Dywili’s murder. “We have no words today. This is still very fresh,” he said.
Police spokesperson Mncedi Mbombo said a case of murder and attempted murder had been opened and investigations were under way.
Dywili’s mother, Nondzame, wept as she told City Press how she pleaded with her son time and again to leave politics, as his life was in great danger.
“He just laughed at me and said he would die in the war, because the people of Walmer had entrusted him with the further development of their ward,” she said.
Dywili had also received death threats before he was gunned down.