John Myaka, an African Christian Democratic Party councillor and pastor, was shot and killed while preaching to his congregants at his church in Nseleni Township, Richards Bay. The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon.
The mayor of Umhlathuze Municipality, Xolani Ngwezi, expressed his deep sorrow and shock at Myaka’s tragic passing. He said on Wednesday:
It is with deep sorrow and shock that the City of Umhlathuze announces the tragic passing of councillor Myaka, who was also a respected pastor. He played an integral role as part of the coalition government led by the Inkatha Freedom Party. His dedication, commitment and unwavering service to the community will be deeply missed. Despite numerous attempts to lure him with bribes and promises of the mayoral position, he remained steadfast in his dedication to serving the community and resisted any form of corruption. Eyewitnesses reported that he was shot by an assailant while in the midst of delivering his sermon. Two other gunmen who were present at the scene quickly fled. The municipality is cooperating fully with law enforcement agencies as they investigate this heinous act.
City of uMhlathuze communications manager Bongani Gina said witnesses reported that a man shot Myaka while he was giving his sermon.
Empangeni police are investigating the incident as a case of murder. Police spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo said:
It is alleged that the deceased was at church when he was shot.
Gina said the speaker of uMhlathuze Municipality, councillor Tobias Gumede, led a delegation of councillors who went to pay tribute to the Myaka family in eNseleni on Wednesday morning.
Gun violence is a significant problem in South Africa, with high levels of gun-related crimes such as murder, assault, and robbery. This issue results from various factors, including organised crime, gang violence, and a culture of violence. Illegal firearms and gun trafficking also contribute to the problem.