Durban — Among other things, former journalist and spokesperson Jeffrey Zikhali will be remembered as a dedicated TV sports presenter leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and throughout the soccer tournament.
That was according to the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, which called on law enforcement agencies to arrest Zikhali’s killers.
Zikhali was shot dead in Ndabayakhe in Empangeni on Friday night.
ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said the ANC in KZN has learnt with a great sense of shock about Zikhali’s hijacking and murder.
Zikhali was a former spokesperson for the late Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) MEC and ANC PEC member Meshack Radebe, Umkhumbi Wokunethezeka.
In his early days as a journalist with Radio Khwezi, Zikhali played a significant role in the promotion of peace, and reconciliation and in fostering better relations between various communities at the height of political violence in KZN.
“We will always remember him as a dedicated TV sports presenter leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and throughout the tournament,” Mtolo said.
Mtolo said Zikhali earned respect among soccer players, soccer administrators, football associations and the public at large because of his understanding of the beautiful game.
He said that as DARD and PEC member Radebe’s spokesperson, Zikhali’s work was characterised by simplicity in terms of narrating service delivery and key programmes such as One Home, One Garden.
“He was diligent, hardworking and upright,” Mtolo said.
“When assigned to perform any task – he did it with a dedication to serve the people of KwaZulu-Natal.”
Mtolo said that the ANC expresses their condolences and sympathy to the Zikhali family.
“This is a sad loss of unimaginable proportions,” Mtolo said.
“We want the family to know that we are thinking of them through this tough and difficult time.”
Mtolo said that various government law enforcement agencies were assigned to conduct an investigation and ensure that the murderers are arrested and removed from society.
“We wish to remind the people of this province that the fight to dismantle apartheid was all about our desire to live in a free democratic state,” Mtolo said.
“We have reiterated on many platforms that communities must work with law enforcement agencies to fight crime.”
Mtolo added that criminals are our brothers, sons, boyfriends, husbands, friends and neighbours.
“There is an increasing number of South Africans who feel unsafe in their familiar environments because of peoplewe know,” Mtolo said.
“We must report them to police as part of the protection of our hard-fought-for democracy and freedom.”
Meanwhile, KZN Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Sipho Hlomuka condemned Zikhali’s murder and said that Empangeni SAPS have begun a manhunt to find the perpetrators.
“We strongly condemn the murder of Mr. Zikhali and we urge community members to assist law enforcement with critical information to ensure that these criminals are apprehended.
“Law enforcement is working on profiling and identifying crime hot spot areas where police visibility will be increased to ensure the safety of the people of our province. Police have also intensified operations to recover illegal firearms and ammunition from criminals,” Hlomuka said.
He also reiterated the importance of active citizenry in the prevention and combating of criminality in communities.
“Law enforcement agencies need community members to play an active role in the fight against crime, we need all hands on deck to ensure that we strengthen a united front against crime,” Hlomuka said.
Hlomuka also sent his heartfelt condolences to the Zikhali family.
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