About 3000 SACP supporters on Sunday attended the funeral of Nontsikelelo Blose, who was shot dead a week ago at a tavern in Inchanga, about halfway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
The Nondlini Sport and Community Centre Hall in Inchanga was packed to capacity with party supporters in red T-shirts, family members, and a large press contingent. A few hundred supporters milled around outside the hall, unable to gain entry.
The funeral was also attended by former eThekwini metro mayor James Nxumalo, who is also the provincial chairman of the SACP. Other notables included SACP KwaZulu-Natal secretary Themba Mthembu and SACP deputy national chairman Thulas Nxesi.
There was a heavy police presence throughout Inchanga, which falls into Durban’s embattled ward 4.
Blose, a local SACP leader who was a witness in the case of five men accused of killing SACP supporter Philip Dlamini, was shot dead at a tavern last Sunday. The Sunday Tribune reported that she was at the tavern with Nxumalo’s son and her daughter when she was shot. Nxumalo’s son Wandile Nxumalo was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the two men had intended shooting him, but Blose had instead been shot.
Following Blose’s killing, members of the SACP went on the rampage burning a number of houses. A local African National Congress Youth League leader Xolani Ngcobo was killed during the rampage.
The ward has been divided between members of the ANC and the SACP since the nomination of candidates to stand in the August 3 local government elections started last year. Earlier this year, two people, including Dlamini, were killed in the dispute. Since then tensions have been high despite visits to the area by several high ranking SACP and ANC members trying to heal the rift.
SACP members claim they were blocked from participating in the branch nominations for councillor candidates. On August 3, SACP member Petrus Nxumalo, a cousin of the former mayor, stood as an independent and won the ward. Ngcobo’s funeral was also set to be held on Sunday.
– African News Agency (ANA)