Two people - one the son of a KwaZulu-Natal mayor - have been shot and killed near Ladysmith.
Alfred Duma Municipality Mayor Vincent Madlala's son was among the victims on Tuesday afternoon, the municipality confirmed on Wednesday.
Sbonelo Mondli Madlala, 28, and his friends were attacked by unknown gunmen, who opened fire on the vehicle they were driving in Ezakheni E Section.
"Mayor Madlala's son and a friend sustained gunshot wounds and did not survive after attempts to save their lives were made by health practitioners and emergency services," the municipality's Siyabonga Maphalala said.
"On behalf of Council I would like to correct the news reports that suggest that a mayor's bodyguard was also involved in the incident. At this stage no municipal employee was involved or sustained injuries in the incident."
"We send our heartfelt condolences to the Madlala and Malinga families for losing their loved ones in the incident."
Police confirmed that a charge of murder was being investigated.
"Charges of murder were opened at Ezakheni police station after two victims, aged 28 and 29, were shot by unknown people. They sustained gunshot wounds [to] the chest and head," police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said.
The injured son was believed to have been rushed to his father's home after the shooting.
Rushed to hospital
Madlala is thought to have then rushed his son to Ladysmith police station where he was met by awaiting paramedics. He was declared dead.
According to the Ladysmith Gazette, two of the mayor's bodyguards were also reportedly shot in the attack, which the municipality denies. At this stage, it is unclear whether the shooting is politically motivated.
Just a week ago, 63-year-old businessman Buthanani Golden Shange and his friend and ANC member, former 47-year-old school principal Martin Nkosenhle Sithole, were standing in front of Shange's shop when unknown gunmen shot at them.
Both were killed and the inter-ministerial task team on political killings has taken over the investigation.
At the end of March, Police Minister Bheki Cele said that the task team, established by President Cyril Ramaphosa, had made 161 arrests.
The task team was appointed in July 2018 to resolve the shockingly slow progress in more than 132 politically motivated murder investigations in the province.