Councillor Sbonelo Mthembu

ANC Councillor and two other men gunned down in Piet Retief

Councillor Sbonelo Mthembu, 36, his mechanic and his friend were shot and killed in Mkhondo on Friday night.

Councillor Sbonelo Mthembu

A councillor and two other men were shot and killed by unknown gunmen in a yard in Mkhondo, Piet Retief, Mpumalanga on Friday night, 13 January. The suspects remain at large.


The councillor has been identified as Sbonelo Mthembu, 36. He was a member of the African National Congress (ANC).

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said Mthembu and his mechanic were dropped off by a friend at approximately 20:00 in Mkhondo when three armed men suddenly appeared in the yard.

“The suspects reportedly fired multiple shots at the Councillor who was in the yard, and also fatally shot the friend who was still inside his bakkie. The mechanic did not escape the shooting as he was shot by the same suspects whilst in the yard as well,” said Mdhluli.

The suspects fled in an unknown direction. Paramedics and police rushed to the scene where they found the Mthembu’s friend slumped behind the steering wheel of a bakkie with a gunshot wound. He was declared dead at the scene.

Mthembu and the mechanic were rushed to a nearby hospital in a private vehicle before the authorities arrived at the scene. The mechanic was declared dead on arrival and the councillor died of his injuries moments later.

The police are investigating three counts of murder. Mpumalanga police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, assembled a team of investigation experts to probe the matter and arrest the perpetrators.

Members of the public with information that could assist the investigation are encouraged to call the Crime Stop hotline at 08600-10111.

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