Se­cu­rity in­creased in Masi

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - CARYN DOLLEY

SE­CU­RITY around Masi­phumelele was height­ened yes­ter­day ahead of the court ap­pear­ance of a for­mer com­mu­nity leader ac­cused of be­ing a cen­tral fig­ure be­hind mob killings and vi­o­lent protests there last year.

Luba­balo Vellem, 36, along with seven other Masi­phumelele res­i­dents, ap­peared briefly in the Wyn­berg Mag­is­trate’s Court on pub­lic vi­o­lence charges. The mat­ter was post­poned to later this month.

Dur­ing the brief pro­ceed­ings it emerged Vellem wanted his bail con­di­tions re­laxed for to­mor­row to al­low for him to at­tend a me­mo­rial ser­vice in Masi­phumelele.

He was pre­vi­ously re­leased from cus­tody on R5 000 bail un­der con­di­tions which in­cluded that he not en­ter Masi­phumelele.

Vellem’s re­quest to en­ter the area to­mor­row was granted.

He plans to at­tend a me­mo­rial ser­vice for Mbulelo Nogqala, 37, the deputy sher­iff of Si­mon’s Town who was mur­dered in his Masi­phumelele home nearly two weeks ago.

Yes­ter­day, be­fore Vellem’s court ap­pear­ance, au­thor­i­ties in­clud­ing traf­fic and law en­force­ment were on high alert in case Vellem sup­port­ers protested in and around Masi­phumelele.

On Thurs­day alerts were sent to res­i­dents of ar­eas sur­round­ing Masi­phumelele to warn them of pos­si­ble dis­rup­tions.

A post on the Si­mon’s Town Mag­is­trate’s Court Face­book page said: “Ex­pect po­ten­tial traf­fic dis­rup­tions/de­lays, and some work­ers not ar­riv­ing for work.” There were how­ever no dis­rup­tions yes­ter­day.

The warn­ing stemmed from ac­tions that un­folded after one of Vellem’s pre­vi­ous court ap­pear­ances.

In Oc­to­ber, after he ap­peared in the Si­mon’s Town Mag­is­trate’s Court, an­gry Masi­phumelele res­i­dents caused chaos in Si­mon’s Town and Glen­cairn when they marched through the sub­urbs.

At one point po­lice fired a smoke grenade which prompted pro­test­ers to flee into an up­mar­ket area.

Luba­balo Vellem

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