IFP: Mncwango confirms candidate is not dead

2011-05-20 00:00

IFP national organiser Albert Mncwango has made a turnaround in his statement that his party candidate in Ndwedwe died after being attacked prior to the local government elections.

Musawenkosi Godfrey Mahlobo was severely beaten in the early hours of Wednesday morning and was later admitted to hospital where he is still in a critical condition. The news of his death spread like wildfire through a statement that Mncwango released to the media.

However, Mncwango, who said police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe was wrong in denying the death, changed his statement yesterday and admitted that he got it wrong.

“I was misled by police in Ndwedwe police station. They … said Mahlobo is dead. I also spoke to his family member who told me that he died,” Mncwango said.

A police officer in Ndwedwe police station told The Witness on Tuesday evening that Mahlobo was in the ICU, and not dead.

It seems that Mncwango changed his statement after it had already caused damage to Mahlobo’s family.

“His children heard about this through the radio and they were very devastated … Later we found out that he was in fact in hospital and not dead. Luckily his wife had not heard about it, but this affected us very badly,” said Mahlobo’s brother-in-law Joseph Makhanya.

Makhanya’s friend Elliot Mpanza said, “This statement was very bad. As soon as he is discharged from hospital he should sue for damages.”

Mahlobo was an IFP candidate in Ward 17.

IFP chairperson in Ndwedwe Ndodo Mfayela said this contributed to the party performing badly in the ward.

“People were talking about his death. Others were even saying that they were no longer going to vote because their preferred candidate was dead …” he said.

Radebe said no one has been arrested in connection with Mahlobo’s assault.

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