Tra­di­tional lead­ers ‘as­saulted’

IFP coun­cil­lor in court after con­tention over land

Weekend Witness - - News - MLONDI RADEBE

A RE­SPECTED mem­ber of the Msun­duzi coun­cil stands ac­cused of as­sault­ing tr adi­tional leader s in an in­ci­dent wit­nessed by the deputy speaker of the KwaZulu­Natal Le gis­la­ture, M es­hack Radebe, this w eek.

Coun­cil­lor Dolo Zondi, leader of the IFP cau­cus, ap­peared in court with his co­ac­cused — Zakhele Z ondi, Zikhali Zondi, T hule­bona Z ondi, Sinothile Zondi and Thokozani Zondi — on charges of as sault and as sault with int ent to do griev­ous bod­ily harm to tra­di­tional lead­ers Sipho Qoma and Thi­na­sonke Ntombela on Her­itage Day, Septem­ber 24. They were r eleased on R300 b ail each.

At the c en­tre of the dis­put e, which has pit ted the c oun­cil­lor ag ainst his brother, iNk osi N sikayezwe Z ondi of Mpumuza, is the ap­point­ment of tra­di­tional leader s and the dis tri­b­u­tion of land in the ar ea.

On Wed­nes­day, Qoma and Nt ombela were in­spect­ing a plot of land with Radebe and Nsikayezwe Zondi’s lawyer Sibani Nz­i­mande when the as­sault hap­pened.

Ntombela told Week­end Witne ss he was in the ar ea to in­spect the land f or a c om­mu­nity de vel­op­ment pr oject.

“Inkosi Nsikayezwe Zondi wants the area to be de veloped and R adebe was there to ad­vise us on what can be built on that plot. The plan is to build a med­i­cal cen­tre, shop­ping cen­tre or a cul­tural vil­lage,” he said.

It’s al­leged that a gr oup of men led by the Z ondi br oth­ers sud­denl y de ­ scended on them at about 2.30pm and as­saulted Ntombela and Qoma in front of the deput y speak er.

“They did not ask an y que stions. They jus t said ‘ here’s the per son that must be beaten’. They then started as­sault­ing me with s ticks and I tried t o fight back be­cause the y wanted to kill me.”

Ntombela w as t aken t o St Anne’ s hos­pi­tal, where he re­ceived stitches on his head and un­der an eye. He was also treated f or in­jurie s t o his arm.

A mem­ber of the Mpumuz a trib al coun­cil, T hube­lihle Z ondi, said the y were shocked by the at­tack and did not know what had pr ovoked it.

He said Qoma and Nt ombela were mark­ing out a plot for Radebe’s daugh­ter when the y were at tacked.

Radebe could not be reached to com­ment on the mat ter y es­ter­day.

Dolo Zondi said he had tried ot break up the fight and w as not guilt y of as ­ sault. “They were as­sault­ing Ntombela and he was fight­ing back, try­ing to pro­tect him­self from a group of com­mu­nity mem­bers. I was called about a prob­lem in the area and was try­ing to break up the fight. I don’ t know why I am no w ac­cused of as sault­ing Nt ombela,” he said.

Nz­i­mande said the Z ondi f am­ily mem­bers had con­tra­vened an in­ter­dict pre­vent­ing them fr om in­tim­i­dat­ing , harassing and as sault­ing mem­ber s of the tr adi­tional authorit y.

They will be back in court on Novem­ber 3 . • ml [email protected]­ness.co.za

PHO­TOS: FILE

Msun­duzi Mu­nicip al­ity c oun­cil­lor Dolo Z ondi.

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