Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal social worker, who spent the last decade of her life working to uplift her community, was murdered in front of her children just days ago.
Thirty-four-year-old Sithembile Vilakazi had just arrived at her home in Henley Village when she was shot dead.
According to the KZN Department of Social Development, Vilakazi served at the Vulindlela Service Office for 10 years and dedicated her life to serving the most needy communities.
Vilakazi's husband, Sibusiso Vilakazi, was murdered in Elandskop in October last year.
He was a social auxiliary worker at the department.
"It is unthinkable that anyone would consider taking the life of a social worker, a person who is on the frontline of the fight against gender-based violence and femicide in our communities. The heartless attackers shot dead an innocent woman in full view of her children," said provincial MEC for Social Development, Nonhlanhla Khoza.
Conveying her condolences to the Vilakazi children, Khoza said they were still grappling with the loss of their father.
Khoza urged the law enforcement agencies to do everything in their powers to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to book and face the full might of the law.
She also called on those in the social worker community to inform police if they had information pertaining to the investigation.
"The killing of a social worker robs the entire community of this province as these officials are tasked with critical responsibilities to save the lives of vulnerable persons. In our society we have people who have lost their moral fibre and will not think twice about attacking and killing the most vulnerable," she added.
The MEC's office has assembled a team of social workers to provide counselling to the Vilakazi children and family.