CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — A former politician who gained notoriety in South Africa for dumping human feces in public places as a protest against the living conditions in some of the country’s poorest townships was fatally shot Monday while meeting with a group of homeless people, police said.
Loyiso Nkohla was killed by unknown gunmen, who fled the scene of the shooting near the Philippi Railway Station on the outskirts of Cape Town. Three other people were wounded and were taken to the hospital by bystanders, police said.
Police said there was no clear motive for the killing. South African media reported that more than 20 shots were fired, but police didn’t confirm those details.
Nkohla, who local media reported was 40 years old, had been addressing people who live in shacks and other informal structures near the railway yard when he was shot.
He served as an elected local councilor for the ruling African National Congress party, but later joined numerous other political parties and continued working as a community activist for the poor after leaving politics last year.
He was best-known for being part of a group that dumped human feces inside the entrance to the Cape Town International Airport in 2013. The group said they were protesting city authorities’ disregard for the living conditions in some of the city’s nearby townships, where a lack of basic sanitation services meant people had to rely on portable toilets. Nkohla was also part of a group that dumped feces outside Cape Town’s city legislature building.
He was given the name “Poo Thrower in Chief” by some South African media, but his extreme actions highlighted the deep frustrations held by millions living in poverty in a country renowned for its stark inequality.
On leaving politics last year, Nkohla said in a statement that he would still work to help disadvantaged communities.
“I will never give up on you, I will remain your son, you remain my people,” he said.