- Ayob Mungalee was killed in a hit on Sunday night.
- He was an anti-corruption and anti-gang activist in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg.
- The area has been plagued by gang violence.
A prominent activist in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg was murdered on Sunday night in what police called a “hit“.
According to News 24, Ayob Mungalee, 60, the former Gauteng head of the outlawed People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) group, recently mobilized residents to perform raids on the B Section flats.
Residents fed up with the violence in Eldorado Park raided the flats on Wednesday. The flats are located in one of the poorest parts of the township, which is notorious for gang violence and being a haven for drug peddlers.
Since 1 December, 11 people have been killed and two have been injured – all within walking distance of the flats. Murders in the area became rife after two gang bosses were killed in 2022. Since then, rival gangs have been fighting for control of the area and the drug trade.
“It’s bigger than everybody. We need God because the army’s not coming. These are assassinations. Only kingpins and bodyguards are being killed now. There are two left, and the game doesn’t end till they fall. There’s a finish to this,” he said.
Last year, rumors of a hit list went as far as the City of Johannesburg. Council members then went to Eldorado Park in October after residents asked for the army to be deployed to end the killings.
At the time, more than 20 people had been killed, and many of them were on the hit list. The rest were bystanders.
News 24 initially reported that on Sunday, Eldorado Park station commander, Brigadier Mkhacani Maluleke, said Mungalee was on the hit list.
Mungalee lived opposite the flats, where his son had a car wash.
The car wash was known as a neutral space where police officers and gangsters would go to get their vehicles washed. Youngsters susceptible to gangs were recruited by the car wash to keep them off the streets and away from a life of violence.
Maluleke said Mungalee was walking through a park between the flats and the car wash on Sunday after 19:00, when he was shot in the head from behind. He said the perpetrator had followed him on foot and that Mungalee collapsed near the gate of the car wash.
Police in the area said they heard a single gunshot and arrived to find Mungalee dead.
Maluleke said he spoke to Mungalee on Saturday: He wanted to share what he knew with the station commander. He said it was better to die than allow corruption in Eldos. Mungalee was fighting corruption in Eldorado Park. He got information that he was on a hit list.
It was believed that Mungalee recently came forward with information on those who were believed to have compiled the hit list. He was also looking into child kidnappings in the area.
Maluleke said he was also on the list as his recent appointment was said to be a stumbling block to corruption.
Mungalee, a former National Intelligence agent, was arrested in Cape Town in 1999 for carrying explosives for Pagad and was handed an eight-year sentence.
Residents were shocked by the news of Mungalee’s murder, and even hardened criminals revered him. He was known to be fearless in his fight against crime and would often escort police into violent areas.