‘Po­lice of­fi­cer be­hind Ma­son’s Mill land in­va­sion chaos’

The Witness - - NEWS - CLIVE NDOU • clive.ndou@wit­ness.co.za

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.

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