Spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said a 33-year-old man and a woman were shot in Jabula Road in KwaMashu. Both were rushed to the nearby clinic where the man succumbed to his wounds.
Zwane said the woman was recovering in hospital.
Less than an hour later a 24-year-old man was shot dead in the same road at a different location.
Zwane said in both attacks nothing was taken from the victims.
He said the motive for the shootings had yet to be determined, but robbery was ruled out.
Zwane did not name the two men, but the African National Congress identified the 33-year-old man as Sithembiso Biyela.
In a statement released on Monday, the ANC’s provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said Biyela was attacked at his house after returning from a political meeting.
“This incident happened shortly after ANC members reported threats of violence that were being made against them, including that after the recent by-elections they should pack their bags and leave the hostel or face violence directed at them.
“The ANC is deeply saddened by the brutal assassination of its leader,” said Zikalala.
KwaZulu-Natal transport, community safety and liaison MEC Willies Mchunu identified the second man as being Malusi Ndlovu.
He visited the scene of both shootings and said in a statement released on Monday that Biyela was the ANC’s acting deputy block chairman who had recently defected from the IFP to the ANC.
Jabula Road is one of the main roads that runs through Durban’s troubled Ward 39 where there have been numerous killings and attacks ever since the National Freedom Party split from the Inkatha Freedom Party in 2011.
The ward was won by an IFP councillor in a by-election last week that was preceded by a number of shootings.
Both IFP and NFP members have died with at least two people from each party being killed in the run-up to the latest by-election.
This is the first time that an ANC leader has been killed in violence in the ward since 2011.
“This indeed confirms the ANC’s worst fears that KwaMashu hostel is now in the hands of thuggish elements that kill with impunity,” Zikalala said.
He urged the leaders of all political parties to rein in their members before more lives are lost.