The Guardian

'A phenomenon within the ANC': murders turn spotlight on South Africa's ruling party

Killing of ANC rising star Sindiso Magaqa symptomatic of wider problem as political corruption scandals take their toll
TOPSHOT - A Democratic Alliance (DA) party's supporters holds a placard reading 'Jacob Zuma must go' during a march against South African president Jacob Zuma on April 7, 2017 in Johannesburg. Thousands of protesters marched through South African cities on April 7, 2017 demanding President Jacob Zuma's resignation, as a second ratings agency downgraded the country's debt to junk status. Zuma's sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan last week has fanned public anger, divisions within the ruling ANC party and a sharp decline in investor confidence in the country. / AFP PHOTO / JOHN WESSELS / Getty Images

It is a chilly late winter afternoon on the hilly uplands of South Africa’s south-eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal. At a crowded taxi stand near the village of Ibisi four men wait in a BMW, its engine idling.

Sindiso Magaqa, a 35-year-old rising star in the African National Congress (ANC), the party that rules the district, the province and the country, is driving back to his wife and three children. He is on home turf but is wary nonetheless. When he pulls his Mercedes 4x4 in among the taxis to drop off a colleague, his armed bodyguard gets out to stretch his legs.

There is a sudden burst of gunfire, and the waiting BMW roars away. Magaqa’s vehicle has more than 20 bullet holes around the

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