Another South African candidate for councillor has been gunned down as more blood is shed ahead of the November 1 local government elections.
The National Freedom Party (NFP) ward 17 contestant, Mr Dumisani Qwabe, was shot dead and burnt inside his car in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, an African National Congress (ANC) youth league coordinator, Mr Mpume Sangweni, was shot and injured in Ekurhuleni, Eastern Gauteng Province.
This comes a week after an Economic Freedom Fighters candidate, Mr Thulani Shangase, was gunned down in Midlands in the same province.
The latest killing brings to six the total number of politicians murdered in KZN in the run-up to the local elections.
At least 10 politicians have been killed across South Africa ahead of the elections, with eight of the incidents involving members of the ANC.
NFP Secretary General Canaan Mdletshe said the fact that Mr Qwabe’s car had bullet holes “indicates to us he could have been shot and killed before the car was set alight”.
“It's a worrisome situation as this happens just five days before the elections,” Mr Mdletshe said.
“We had previously called for the deployment of soldiers and that South African Police Services Intelligence is intensified in some parts of KZN that are known to be hotspots, and we reiterate that call once more.
“As things stand, our candidates in Nongoma are in fear. They are scared to continue with campaigns, and this does not augur well for democracy in general.”
The ANC youth league's national youth task force (NYTT) called on law enforcement agents to act swiftly and end the violent attacks.
“Violent crimes are a cancer in our communities that continue to cause citizens to live in fear. The NYTT calls for the swift apprehension of the brazen criminals responsible for this heinous crime,” NYTT spokesperson Sizophila Mkhize said in a statement.
With the elections edging closer, some candidates said they had been threatened and were living in fear as the bloodbath continues.
Police in KZN also confirmed Mr Qwabe's killing.
“Magudu police received a report of a motor vehicle that caught on fire on the R66 between Pongola and Nongoma. On arrival they discovered a man inside the vehicle,” said KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.
No arrests have been made.