Security increased in Masi
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.