On Sunday, 19 November 2017, at approximately 11:00pm, Mr. Mpeku was seized by unknown men while he was sleeping in his home (shack) in the informal settlement of Sisonke Village, Lamontville, municipality of eThekwini, province of KwaZulu-Natal and subsequently dragged outside his shack and killed.
His body was discovered, covered with stab wounds and blood, by neighbours one hour later. It was subsequently witnessed by leaders of Abahlali, as it was left for more than 15 hours before it was removed from the crime scene by police.
Since the launch of the Sisonke Village branch in November 2014, Mr. Mpeku had faced ongoing intimidation and death threats (including via text messages and phone calls warning that he would be punished for engaging in human rights work with his community) from individuals linked to local officials of the governing political party.
These threats were reported, in writing, to the area councillor, the ward committee, the Lamontville Police Station and offices of the governing political party, but no response as received. To date, no arrests have taken place with respect to Mr. Mpeku’s murder.