Striker found guilty of intimidation

2010-09-03 08:46

A KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) woman has been found guilty of strike intimidation by the Durban Regional Court, the police ministry said today.

Fiona Kotze (42) of the Bluff, was found guilty of two counts of intimidation on Wednesday and was sentenced to four years imprisonment, suspended for five years, said ministerial spokesperson Zweli Mnisi.

Kotze, who works at a primary school in the Bluff, made two threatening phone calls in relation to the public service strike, he said.

In her first call, to an employee of the Bluff Medical Centre in Brighton Beach on August 24, she demanded that the facility immediately close its doors.

In her second call, to the principal of the Glen Ardle School in Brighton Beach on August 29, she demanded that it close or risk being burnt to the ground.

Kotze handed herself in to the police on August 31.

“When the public service strike began three weeks ago, government issued a strong warning to all citizens to refrain from resorting to intimidation, violence, destruction of property and making inflammatory remarks,” said Mnisi.

“While the majority heeded this call, others chose to be ignorant and are now feeling the wrath of the law.”

On Sunday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said those who encouraged anarchy during the strike would be punished.

“We made a gentle appeal to society, particularly the striking and non-striking workers to respect the rule of law, but it would seem, others like Kotze ignored our clarion call,” he said.

Added national police commissioner General Bheki Cele: “This speedy arrest, conviction and sentence should serve as a warning to others that the criminal justice system will not tolerate any form of intimidation against those who intend to uphold their calling and serve the community.”

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