DA councillor’s murdered after coalition discussions

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Kimberley – The DA has confirmed that murdered councillor Johannes Baaitjies had reported receiving death threats following his victory in Danielskuil in the recent local government elections.

Andrew Louw, the party’s Northern Cape provincial leader, in a statement said Baaitjies was to have been sworn into council at the Kgatelopele municipality earlier on Thursday.

He was found dead on the main road between Danielskuil and Postmasburg on Wednesday night with two bullet wounds to the head and another to his upper body.

Louw described Baaitjies’ murder as a “cold-blooded assassination”.

He was a married father of three boys.

“It is suspected that his murder was politically motivated, as Baaitjies received death threats shortly after winning Ward 2 successfully wrestling it away from the ANC,” he said.

Two DA councillors, along with two councillors from the Kgatelopele Community Forum (KFC), were to form a coalition government and take control of the municipality from the ANC, Louw continued.

Hung council

He said the party “vehemently denounces any kind of prejudice and criminal activity based on political affiliation”.

“The DA will not allow cowardly acts committed by faceless thugs to derail us from our efforts to govern in order to stamp out corruption, create jobs and deliver services to bring the change that moves South Africa forward again.

“The council is now officially a hung council, but the DA will contest the upcoming by-election for Ward 2. This time, we will work even harder to ensure that we take it with an increased majority.”

News24 earlier reported that constituency head Boitumelo Babuseng said Baaitjies knew he was in danger.

“He told me as a constituency head last week in Afrikaans: ‘Die mense will my dood maak [These people want to kill me]’,” Babuseng said.

When Babuseng pressed Baaitjies on the nature of the threats, he replied: “Die mense van die ANC [These people of the ANC].”

According to Babuseng, police have not made arrests but a passenger travelling with Baaitjies who was shot in the jaw may be able to provide help in the investigation.

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