S’fiso Ngcobo, 49 years old, was the chairperson of the local branch of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA (shack dwellers of South Africa) and, on the evening of 22 May, 2018, he was murdered just outside his house.
He had left the house to buy a cool drink when 3 armed men approached him and shot him dead. The police was called but, despite the police station being only 3 kilometers away, took 3 hours to arrive at the location.
The movement had been facing serious repression including the destruction of its members’ homes, arrests, assaults and murder. According to Sbu Zikode, chairperson of Abahlali and president of the Ekukhanyeni branch, during 2018, 5 members of the movement have been killed in just 8 months. Zikode also complained about the impunity. He claimed that there has been no serious investigation of any of the crimes committed against members of Abahlali.
Ngcobo is survived by his wife, Phumzile Mkhize, and four children. He was regarded in the community as “a man of the people”, a strong, charismatic but humble leader.