“Jossey and his mob al­most killed me”

African Times - - Front Page - MASHUDU SADIKE AND ISAAC RAMOTH­WALA

ALim­popo busi­ness man and mem­ber of the Rad­i­cal Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion Fo­rum (RETF) in­volved in a bloody scuf­fle with EFF mem­bers in Polok­wane last week, that left three peo­ple in hos­pi­tal and one in ICU, has ac­cused EFF Pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Jossey Buthane of dis­rupt­ing their meet­ing be­cause of ul­te­rior mo­tives.

Ac­cord­ing to Thabiso Rase­botsa, his or­gan­i­sa­tion was hav­ing a peace­ful meet­ing with Con­struc­tion Com­pany Basil Read when Buthane and some EFF mem­bers stormed into the yard to as­sault them. He claims Buthane launched his reign of ter­ror be­cause he is ben­e­fit­ing from busi­ness projects his lobby group are com­plain­ing about in the area.

Speak­ing to African Times af­ter leav­ing his hos­pi­tal bed in Polok­wane, Rase­botse said that Buthane was some­how ben­e­fit­ting from the projects con­cerned which may have made him un­com­fort­able with the RETF’s cam­paign for eco­nomic free­dom.

“What else would ex­plain the man­ner in which he and his peo­ple at­tacked me? I’m not a politi­cian and have noth­ing against the EFF. There is some­thing else at play here.” Rase­botse said.

The RETF mem­bers were to meet with pri­vate com­pa­nies to dis­cuss how Small Medium En­ter­prises (SMEs) can ben­e­fit from the gov­ern­ment’s pro­cure­ment pol­icy which re­quires that they be given at least 30% of the to­tal value of the projects in their ar­eas.

African Times last week re­ported that Buthane and his fel­low EFF mem­bers had al­legedly as­saulted mem­bers of the lobby group with sticks and pick-han­dles, re­sult­ing in Rase­botsa and coun­cil­lor Pa­pas Maakamedi be­ing hos­pi­talised with se­ri­ous body in­juries.

“When the meet­ing was about to start, some of our mem­bers started scream­ing that one of our mem­bers was get­ting at­tacked and we rushed out to help but re­alised he was al­ready taken to hos­pi­tal by a car be­lieved to be owned by Jossey Buthane.

“I then con­fronted Jossey as to what he had wanted be­cause there was not a sin­gle po­lit­i­cal party in­vited in our meet­ing, when he told me that he was not there to ad­dress me. In my protests he be­gan to in­sult me and called me by my gen­i­talia. As we ex­changed words a bakkie stopped in front of us car­ry­ing men with pick-han­dles in their hands.” Rase­botsa gushed.

He added that Buthane ges­tured at some men in the bakkie to start with the as­sault. When he tried to run some of them blocked his way and Buthane took the pick-han­dle from one of his as­so­ci­ates and started pound­ing him on the head with it.

South African Po­lice Ser­vice (SAPS) Lim­popo spokesper­son, Lieu­tenant Colonel Moat­she Ngoepe con­firmed that a case of as­sault with griev­ous bod­ily harm (GBH) was opened against Buthane and he ap­peared in the Polok­wane Mag­is­trate Court.

“Mr Jossey Buthane ap­peared in court on two ac­counts of as­sault with GBH and one count of in­tim­i­da­tion. Up to this point, the com­plainants have only men­tioned Mr Buthane as a sus­pect,” said Ngoepe.

In ad­di­tion, Ngoepe said that Buthane was granted bail of R2000.00 and that the mat­ter had been post­poned to the 11th of July 2018.

When con­tacted, Buthane said that he couldn’t com­ment on the mat­ter be­cause he was im­pli­cated and re­ferred African Times to EFF’s act­ing Pro­vin­cial Chair­per­son Ren­dani Mun­yai, who dis­missed the ac­cu­sa­tions made by Rase­botse.

“This per­son is con­fused! It’s a to­tal lie that The Pro­vin­cial Sec­re­tary has ul­te­rior mo­tives. Jossey has no busi­ness in­ter­ests in any form of busi­nesses close to them. By now we would know in what ca­pac­ity he would be serv­ing as if he was in­ter­ested in busi­ness in Polok­wane. It’s a bla­tant lie,” ex­claimed Mun­yai.

She re­it­er­ated that Buthane was not alone in a state­ment sent out by the party last week, warn­ing RETF of their al­leged ha­rass­ment of black busi­nesses in Polok­wane. She said the state­ment was is­sued by EFF and not Buthane in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity.

She ac­cused RETF mem­bers of tar­get­ing Buthane.

“RETF peo­ple go around clos­ing busi­nesses of our fel­low black broth­ers and sis­ters who are try­ing to put food on the ta­ble for their chil­dren be­cause they are no longer get­ting ten­ders. They are fight­ing among them­selves,” she said.

When asked if Buthane would be sum­moned to in­ter­nal dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings if found guilty, she said that there was a case that was opened in a court of law and that they would cross that bridge when they got there. Mun­yai re­it­er­ated that she saw no need for any dis­ci­plinary pro­cesses.

“There is noth­ing against Jossey; the EFF will never fold its arms. It will de­fend the de­fence­less. They want to di­vert the peo­ple of Lim­popo to think that the Pro­vin­cial Sec­re­tary is cor­rupt,” she closed.

Rase­botsa also said that he lost money and two of his cell phones dur­ing the scuf­fle and that they had opened a case of as­sault, at­tempted mur­der and rob­bery. He also ac­cused the po­lice of drag­ging their feet.

“I am sur­prised why he [Buthane] is re­ceiv­ing spe­cial treat­ment. He was never ar­rested. I went to the po­lice sta­tion to ask why this was the case and was told that the ev­i­dence was not suf­fi­cient even when I showed them my bruises. He [Buthane] goes around telling peo­ple he was un­touch­able,” he con­cluded.

Pic­ture: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela/Visu­alBuzz SA

Thabiso Rase­botsa, Lim­popo busi­ness­man and mem­ber of the Rad­i­cal Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion Fo­rum (RETF) who was al­legedly at­tacked by EFF Pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Jossey Buthane (left).

RETF Mem­ber Thabo Mabotja

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