Khoza death threats ‘traced to pupil (17) with DA links’

The Independent on Saturday - - NEWS - SAMKELO MTSHALI

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.

In­ves­ti­ga­tion

“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”.

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