A double murder believed to be linked to political killings in the province occurred on Sunday night, 12 May, along the lower end of Voortrekker Street-outside the business premises of one of the men gunned down. Two people were shot dead and a third person was critically injured when unknown men opened fire on them.

The area was teeming with SAP officers and a manhunt soon ensued in an attempt to apprehend the suspects.

Speaking to the Newcastle Express newspaper, the ANC KZN Spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane sent her condolences to the families of the victims.

“Comrade Martin Sithole was a member of the ANC and we are saddened by this news,” she stated.

Sithole was the former treasurer of ANC eMalahleni Region and a state witness in the case against Newcastle Mayor Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba who is currently facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

Asked if there was a possible connection, Simelane said she was unable to ascertain.

“The police are investigating the case. We cannot make such conclusions and will await the findings by police.”

Principal of Cebelihle Primary School, Mr M Shange was the second victim fatally wounded during the attack.

The incident was referred nationally to the SAPS National Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

“Our detectives are still busy with the investigation. The motive for the murders are unknown at this state,” he said.