Councillor survives mob attack

2013-08-17 00:00

COUNCILLORS in Richmond Municipality are under fire from residents — the council speaker was the latest victim of violent attacks at his home in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Speaker Thulani Shabalala escaped a mob attack at his home when stones were thrown and his car burnt out.

He is the second councillor to be targeted, after Richmond Mayor Andrew Ragavaloo’s home was shot at last month.

Shabalala told Weekend Witness that just before 1 am he had to take cover with his wife without knowing what was happening to his children, who were sleeping in a rondavel outside.

As stones flew at his bedroom window, he pulled his wife under the mattress to protect her. He then heard the mob torch his car.

The Witness reported on August 8 that protesters had threatened to make the town ungovernable following protests and threats to councillors. They demanded the removal of Ragavaloo.

The mayor said gunshots were fired outside his house again yesterday morning and that a group of residents had toyi-toyied outside the house of councillor Douglas Kunene, but that they had left when police arrived.

Municipal spokesperson Sbonelo Bhengu said this is no longer a council issue, but a matter for police to investigate. Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said they are investigating cases of intimidation and malicious damage to property (related to the torching of the car), but that no arrests had been made.

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