Sfiso Shangase, the family member of the late Thulani Shangase, an EFF member who was gunned down on Sunday near his home in Plessislaer in the Musunduzi Municpality, speaks to the media. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media.
Sfiso Shangase, the family member of the late Thulani Shangase, an EFF member who was gunned down on Sunday near his home in Plessislaer in the Musunduzi Municpality, speaks to the media. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media.

Family of slain EFF member does not want his funeral politicised

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Oct 20, 2021

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DURBAN - THE family of a slain EFF member, Thulani Shangase, who died in the Msunduzi Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend, said that they did not want his funeral to become a political spectacle as they would like to bury their relative with the dignity he deserved.

While the family has heard unconfirmed reports that Shangase was shot outside an illegal tavern in Plessislaer while waiting for a party agent, they are awaiting the findings from the official police investigation, Shangase’s relative, Sfiso Shangase, told the media on Wednesday at the family home.

He said the family had made suggestions to Minister of police Bheki Cele so that individuals did not use the funeral to campaign for the upcoming local government elections, which is just under two weeks away.

“Our main concern is to bury our brother with the dignity that he warrants and as a family, we made a plea to have a meeting with the minister or the representatives of the authorities so that we could be in a position to chart a way forward in terms of being proactive, so that we can reduce or stop anything that may be negative towards this funeral.

“A meeting will be scheduled in due course whereby our representatives from the family will meet with both parties which are dominant in the area and as a family, we have taken it upon ourselves that we would want to lead this cause. We want to instil a culture of dignity in the manner in which we bury our own, hence we do not want to politicise the funeral itself,” Shangase said on Wednesday.

Thulani Shangase, an EFF ward councillor candidate and member of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) from Plessislaer in the Msunduzi local municipality, was gunned down on Sunday after returning from an EFF campaign in Dambulla.

Members of Santaco, including its regional chairperson in the uMgungundlovu district, Bheki Sokhela, were present at the family home when the police and media arrived.

Police Minister General Bheki Cele visited the crime scene and family home on Wednesday, and while there is speculation around the circumstances of Shangase’s death, Cele said that alcohol continued to be a problem, as the late EFF candidate was partaking in alcohol before he was murdered.

As the country edges closer towards its local government elections, Cele said that police are investigating the deaths of six people in KZN that may be politically linked. He said a special task team designated to political killings will investigate the cases.

“The issue here is the problem of diversity, which is not our problem. People talk about the taxi industry, talk about the politics but that's not what we are looking for. What we are looking for is a criminal that murdered a person. It doesn't matter what affiliations or choices of that person. We are going to look around all issues that might have led to the murder of Thulani.

“We went to the crime scene and we do like to raise the issue that alcohol continues to give us problems. Where he was killed, we know that they were having some drinks. So we do need to look at this issue that alcohol sometimes can be a real generator of these kinds of situations,” Cele said.

The minister said all voting stations across the country (over 20 000) have been profiled and categorised according to its risk level. He said that the majority of high risk voting stations are in KZN.

He said the police will be working with the South African National Defence Force to help relieve police officials to ensure voting stations have ample presence.

“There are those stations that are high risk, about 300 of them, that are around the country. Unfortunately most of those that are at high risk are from this province (KZN), Gauteng, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. So police are planning around that,” the minister added.

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