KZN: ANC councillor in KwaZulu-Natal Bhekithemba Phungula was shot dead on Tuesday evening, eNgonyameni.

He was “killed in a hail of bullets by unknown assailants at his Umlazi home”, said the party.

ANC eThekwini regional task team coordinator Mluleki Ndobe described the killing as “callous and cowardly”.

“The African National Congress in the eThekwini region is deeply disturbed by the shockingly vicious, callous and cruel murder of comrade Phungula. We implore the police to spare no effort to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice. There must be neither refuge nor respite from the arm of the law for the murderers of comrade Phungula,” he said.

In a statement late on Tuesday, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda condemned the murder of elderly ward 84 councillor Bhekithemba Phungula, saying his death would leave a “huge void”.

“The fatal shooting of councillor Phungula came as a shock to all of us and it is sad that we have been robbed of such a valuable leader and a dedicated servant of the people,” Kaunda said.

“We call upon the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to book and we plead with anyone who might have information, to come forward.”

Kaunda called on the community to assist the police in order to speed up investigations “so that culprits pay the price for heinous crime”.

Phungula’s office was torched in May 2016 after he was nominated to again stand as councillor for ward 84 in that year’s local government elections.

KwaZulu-Natal province, home to eThekwini, has experienced such a high number of political killings over the past decade – particularly of ANC councillors in the run-up to local government elections – that former premier Willies Mchunu was prompted to launch a commission of inquiry into the murders.