Coun­cil­lor sur­vives mob at­tack

Weekend Witness - - News - MLONDI RADEBE

COUN­CIL­LORS in Rich­mond Mu­nic­i­pal­ity are un­der fire from res­i­dents — the coun­cil speaker was the lat­est vic­tim of vi­o­lent at­tacks at his home in the early hours of yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Speaker Thu­lani Sha­bal­ala es­caped a mob at­tack at his home when stones were thrown and his car burnt out.

He is the sec­ond coun­cil­lor to be tar­geted, af­ter Rich­mond Mayor An­drew Ra­gavaloo’s home was shot at last month.

Sha­bal­ala

told

Week­end Wit­ness that just be­fore 1 am he had to take cover with his wife with­out know­ing what was hap­pen­ing to his chil­dren, who were sleep­ing in a ron­davel out­side.

As stones flew at his bed­room win­dow, he pulled his wife un­der the mat­tress to pro­tect her. He then heard the mob torch his car.

The Wit­ness re­ported on Au­gust 8 that pro­test­ers had threat­ened to make the town un­govern­able fol­low­ing protests and threats to coun­cil­lors. They de­manded the re­moval of Ra­gavaloo.

The mayor said gun­shots were fired out­side his house again yes­ter­day morn­ing and that a group of res­i­dents had toyi-toyied out­side the house of coun­cil­lor Dou­glas Kunene, but that they had left when po­lice ar­rived.

Mu­nic­i­pal spokesper­son Sbonelo Bhengu said this is no longer a coun­cil is­sue, but a mat­ter for po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate. Po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant Joey Jee­van said they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing cases of in­tim­i­da­tion and ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty (re­lated to the torch­ing of the car), but that no ar­rests had been made.

PHOTO: MLONDI RADEBE

Rich­mond Mu­nic­i­pal­ity speaker Thu­lani Sha­bal­ala talk­ing with friends and fam­ily af­ter the vi­o­lent at­tack on his home in the early hours of yes­ter­day morn­ing. Coun­cil­lors in the town have come un­der fire from com­mu­nity mem­bers.

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