‘Police officer behind Mason’s Mill land invasion chaos’
AS tensions run high between the Msunduzi Municipality and residents of the Mason’s Mill informal settlement, outside Imbali, a law enforcement official has been drawn into the row.
This as the municipality, whose security guards participated in Wednesday’s land invasion crackdown that turned violent, is being accused of high-handedness.
Mandla Mkhize, the residents’ representative, yesterday challenged the municipality to produce the eviction order that those who demolished some houses at the settlement claim to have obtained.
“The fact of the matter is that they don’t have such a document. The real reason that made them come and demolish our houses is because certain individuals within the Msunduzi security unit have an axe to grind with certain individuals in the community,” Mkhize said.
“The security guards told some residents that they want to deal with a certain policeman who lives here in Mason’s Mill. When they came here on Wednesday one of the houses they targeted was that of the policeman’s mother.”
A 67-year-old resident, Mbothweni Zuma, is recuperating at the Edendale Hospital after one of the security guards shot him in the thigh during an altercation between the residents and members of Msunduzi’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the municipality confirmed that it suspected a member of the law enforcement agency, whom the council incorrectly identified as a member of the State Security Agency (SSA), was inciting the residents to defy the municipality’s directive.
“We have received information that there is a member of a State Security Agency who is perpetuating this illegal act of land invasion and we are attending to that,” Msunduzi spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said.
The officer, however, denied the municipality’s accusations. “I don’t know what they are talking about, I don’t even live in that settlement,” he said.
Police, who are investigating a case of attempted murder in connection with Zuma’s shooting, have also opened an assault docket after one of the security guards claimed that residents had attacked him with a bush knife.
Police said arrests are yet to be made.