Shock at ruthless murder of activist Loyiso Nkohla
The governing party in the Western Cape, the DA, says it is shocked to learn of the murder of former politician and community activist Loyiso Nkohla, who was shot dead today in Cape Town. The passing of such a distinctive and passionate voice is « profoundly tragic », and the circumstances of Nkohla’s death are […]
The governing party in the Western Cape, the DA, says it is shocked to learn of the murder of former politician and community activist Loyiso Nkohla, who was shot dead today in Cape Town. The passing of such a distinctive and passionate voice is « profoundly tragic », and the circumstances of Nkohla’s death are «troubling», the DA said in a statement on Monday.
Nkohla was shot soon after he had addressed a community meeting at Philippi Railway Station. The DA said it was shocked by reports that the assassination took place close to the premises of the recently-shuttered Browns Farm satellite SAPS station.
If these reports are true, then they raise serious questions about the South African Police Service’s capacity to provide protection to citizens who need it most, said the DA.
The party said it’s also disturbing that Nkohla had been speaking on the issue of the Central Line, and that the murder may have been extortion-related. The restoration of this rail route is vital to connect thousands of commuters from Nyanga and Mitchells Plain to the City Bowl. However, the project has repeatedly been the focus of violent extortionists who have attempted to delay and disrupt critically-important construction work, at times through violent means, said the DA.
DA Western Cape Spokesperson Gillion Bosman says:
“While we grieve with the family of Loyiso Nkohla, we also demand answers. While details remain scarce at this time, the possibility that this incident came as a result of previous issues with organised criminal extortionists in the area cannot be ignored. We call on SAPS to urgently investigate this heinous incident.”
DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Mobility Derrick America said:
“The full reopening of the Central line is crucial for connecting thousands of people to the Cape Town central business district, especially as road transportation costs become more expensive. The demand for affordable transportation alternatives has increased, making the need for the Central line to reopen even more critical than before. It’s worth noting that Loyiso Nkohla, a passionate activist, worked tirelessly to negotiate with informal dwellers at train stations to relocate and allow for the smooth operation of the Central line. His tragic killing should be strongly condemned.”
For more on Loyiso Nkohla’s shocking assassination, view GroundUp’s article below:
Loyiso Nkohla shot dead during political meeting
Former ANC councillor killed during a meeting over the future of the families living along the railway line in Cape Town
By Tariro Washinyira, GroundUp
Former ANC councillor and activist Loyiso Nkohla was shot dead in Philippi in Cape Town where he was attending a meeting to discuss the relocation of people who have moved onto Central Line railway. Three other people, two women and a man, were injured, according to South African Police Service (SAPS).
“The motive for the attack is yet to be determined. Nyanga police are investigating cases of murder and attempted murder,” said Western Cape police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi.
Nkohla was a representative of the families who occupied the railway line in Langa, Khayelitsha and Philippi after the line stopped operating in 2019, questioning Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and the City of Cape Town on progress made to relocate the families. Earlier, as part of the Ses’khona movement, he was known for his role in Cape Town’s “poo protests” over poor sanitation in informal settlements.
In December last year Nkohla organised a protest at the Cape Town Civic Centre over the delays in the relocation to alternative land.
When GroundUp arrived at the scene of Monday’s meeting at the former Philippi train station, around 13:00 pm, Nkohla’s body was still lying on the ground. The area was cordoned off and scores of people were standing around.
Philip Mnisi, one of the steering committee members from Eyadini informal settlement on the railway lines in Philippi was in the meeting when Nkohla was shot. “We had just finished prayer and Nkohla had just taken out the file to hand us the agenda of the meeting when the people came and fired.”
He said Nkohla was definitely the target.
“He worked relentlessly on the relocation process. There are people who were not happy with the work he was doing.”
“We have lost a focussed, fearless leader.”
Mnisi said there were cameras at the venue and he was optimistic the killers would be caught.
Ward 80 Councillor Lindikhaya Payiya (ANC) said he had arrived at the same time as the police. “Some people who were here who saw the faces said they didn’t recognise the people.”
Payiya said the killing would delay the relocation process. “We are very sad because Loyiso is one of the activists that we know was committed to help people from the informal settlement. We lost a cadre who was always ready to assist the underprivileged.”
Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Mcebisi Skwatsha visited the crime scene. In a video recorded by Ezitshisayo facebook page he offered condolences to Nkohla’s wife and those who knew him. “It looks like it’s an assassination,” said Skwatsha.
© 2023 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
JUST IN: Former ANC Youth League activist Loyiso Nkohla has been shot dead in Philippi, Cape Town. pic.twitter.com/h7Xsa0H0DC
— Quinton Mtyala (@mtyala) April 17, 2023
Crime in this country is truly out of control. Loyiso Nkohla was shot and killed inside a police station. https://t.co/ju1o1to9VS
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) April 17, 2023