Khoza death threats ‘traced to pupil (17) with DA links’
DEATH threats made to ANC MP Makhosi Khoza were traced to a 17-year-old high school pupil from Gugulethu, Cape Town, with DA links, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said in Durban yesterday.
Mbalula was at the notorious Glebelands Hostel in uMlazi, where he met residents of the notorious Block R (known as Russia) where nearly 100 people have been murdered since 2014.
Referring to the death threats, he said: “Twelve cellular phone numbers utilised to threaten people were successfully traced to (the teenage girl) and her mother in Cape Town. Since August 7, 2016 to date, she has threatened and harassed about seven people serving or working at the National Assembly.
“She is also responsible for the intimidation case opened in Gauteng, by Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo. Minister Dlodlo was threatened in a similar modus operandi in July,” Mbalula said.
Others threatened by the “troubled minor”, Mbalula said, include Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Communications Deputy Minister Thandi Mahambehlala, MP Phelekwa Mfuyo, Xoliswa Salman, Bukelwa Ntantiso and Nobuntu Khuse.
The teenager’s father told police this was not the first time the family was involved in these types of threats and he often had to intervene in similar situations, within his community of Gugulethu.
He said an investigation also revealed that in 2016 the minor was admitted to a place of safety in Cape Town, after writing to the Ministry of Social Development alleging her mother had sold her to foreign nationals for sex and was involved in drugs.
“Of great public interest is the question raised in particular by Dr Khoza, who intimated that the threats on her life were as a result of ANC infighting. Dr Khoza was not informing the South Africans of the truth or facts regarding this particular matter.
“These threats came from a troubled minor and she was not the only person threatened in this way. Dr Khoza also periodically informed the public about these threats on her life and during our threat assessment on her life, we could not identify the actionable threat,” said Mbalula.
He said, based on information posted on social networks, the 17-yearold girl had links with the DA but police had no official proof she was DA member.
“The motive is unknown at this stage. There are no leads yet as to whether there is any manipulation or misuse of this minor, by any person or entity, and the investigation is continuing,” said Mbalula.
He accused Khoza of lying when she claimed the threats had emanated from within the ANC. He said she had declined to co-operate with the investigation by refusing to hand over her cellphone to investigators, stating that they and the police minister were “working with the enemy”.
Mbalula said Khoza indicated she would hand over her phone when there was a regime change and refused protection from the police in light of the threats made against her.
“I have requested investigators to continue to… request her co-operation in the course of justice. We once again request Dr Khoza to co-operate with investigators who are all non-partisan and apolitical in their work,” said Mbalula.
He reiterated it was a fact Khoza was not threatened by anyone inside the ANC due to her work as an MP.
Numerous attempts to contact Khoza for comment were unsuccessful but she did issue a post on Facebook yesterday, saying she was aware of Mbalula’s claim.
“Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula has pronounced to the media that a 17-year-old girl from Gugulethu is behind the death threats that I have been receiving for the past few months. I am currently not in a position to comment on this, as I have not yet received any form of communication from the minister about the progress made on the two criminal cases opened in both Polokwane and Durban.
“It must be said, however, that the Daily Maverick published that the number, which had sent me death threats, was registered to the Black First Land First (BLF). I find it odd that the minister has made no mention of this. Despite the motives, whoever is behind the death threats that I continue to receive, must be brought to book,” she posted.
On Glebelands, Mbalula said a satellite police station would be opened at the hostel within a week, in an attempt to quell killings and crimes.
“Our people are under siege from criminal thugs and other nyaope gangs in the Glebelands precinct. The hardships there come from a brutal past of cramming blacks together for cheap labour.”
He said hostels removed people’s dignity and the state of dilapidation made them a “nest for criminality”.