Traditional leaders ‘assaulted’
IFP councillor in court after contention over land
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
Msunduzi Municip ality c ouncillor Dolo Z ondi.