ANC Fire: Shelembe considers suing over arson charge

2011-11-21 00:00

FORMER Msunduzi deputy mayor, Alpha Shelembe is considering whether to sue the State for damages after arson charges were withdrawn against him by the senior public prosecutor on November 4, according to a statement issued on his behalf by his attorney, Jeremy Diedericks yesterday.

He said Shelembe — who was charged with arson on June 23 after a former ANC driver, Themba Mbona implicated him in the case — had maintained his innocence from the start of the case.

Diedericks told The Witness that a statement made by Mbona to police, which is contained in the police docket, differed in a number of respects from what he had stated in his guilty plea. However he declined to elaborate on what those discrepancies are at this stage.

“At this stage (Mr) Shelembe is considering his position in so far as a claim for damages is concerned,” he said.

Other factors which Shelembe maintains pointed to his innocence are that Mbona’s version was “highly improbable”, and the fact that the fire took place when the offices were being occupied by protesters who allegedly had shown themselves to be “hostile” to Shelembe and the ANC.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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