The brutal killing of a senior manager at the Umbumbulu Coastal TVET College outside Durban is believed to be the work of those looking to force the college to award them contracts.

Lindinkosi Mazibuko, 44, a senior manager of infrastructure at the college, was shot seven times on Friday morning as he waited to sign the entry registry at the college.

His family and Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande said they had no doubt that Mazibuko’s murder was a vicious act by those looking to infiltrate and loot the college using tenders.

Nzimande visited Mazibuko’s family home, in the Donnybrook area outside Bulwer yesterday, to pay his respects. His family said that over the past few months there had been several incidents that they viewed as attempts to intimidate him.

Mazibuko’s younger brother, Malusi Memela, who is also employed by the college, was the first family member at the scene after the shooting.

He said “When I arrived, he was still in the seat of his car, he had been shot seven times. “We understand the assailant seemed to have known his movements and had been waiting for him. The killer fled through the back entrance to the college and was picked up by a car with no licence plate that had been waiting for him.”

He said they believed that he was murdered because of tenders. “He was a manager in the infrastructure unit and was a person who always insisted that everything must be done according to the laws and regulations.”

He said that a few months ago, Mazibuko was attacked and hijacked, and the suspects stole his gun and cellphones. He said there had been other incidents of intimidation.

Memela said “There have been incidents where he would be walking in the mall and a stranger would come up and greet his 7-year-old son by his nickname. “That seemed like intimidation by those behind this to say to him ‘we have researched you, we know everything about you including your children’ – it was all intimidation”.

Meanwhile, Nzimande described the situation as “tragic”.

He said “I had to come here (to Donnybrook) myself because it is clear that the people doing this are intent on looting the college. This college has been problematic for some time.”

He said he was in the process of taking harsh steps against the college. “I am certain that all this has to do with tenders, I have no doubt about that.

Nzimande added that “The people who did this must be found, but it won’t bring back Mr Mazibuko. “The people who do this must account – you can’t go killing people for your own selfish and greedy interests”.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said a case of murder had been opened at KwaMakhutha police station for investigation