Traditionalists chase DA’s Mazibuko away from Swayimane

2013-02-05 00:00

THE DA’s parliamentary leader and her entourage had to make a quick retreat out of Swayimane near Wartburg to avoid a potentially violent confrontation with residents armed with gardening tools.

Lindiwe Mazibuko, accompanied by the DA’s shadow minister of police, Dianne Kohler Barnard, provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu and party youth leader Mbali Ntuli, were prevented by the residents from entering the home of an 82-year-old woman who was raped seven months ago.

When they arrived at the home of the victim, they found a group of predominantly young people carrying an assortment of tools, including bushknives, garden hoes and spades pretending to do gardening work in the gogo’s yard. Others were carrying flyers which said the DA should go away with its money. They described it as a party of the oppressors that has never cared for black people.

Mchunu had a heated verbal exchange with ANC member and speaker of Mshwathi Municipality, Nonhlanhla Msomi.

Mchunu accused Msomi of instigating the stand-off, while Msomi said the DA was using the tragedy for political mileage.

Mazibuko and her delegation decided to retreat, to loud cheers by community members. They headed for the Wartburg police station where they lodged a complaint of intimidation.

Local traditional leader Nkosiyezwe Gcumisa said he was shocked about what happened.

“I only see this girl [Lindiwe] on television and in newspapers. I have never seen her in my area. For her to come and not even report to the traditional authority was shocking,” he said.

Deputy chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Thulasizwe Ngcobo, said they did not accept that strangers would come to the area and interfere with their affairs.

“We have problems but we can still sort them out ourselves … if we need Mazibuko we will invite her properly,” he said.

Mazibuko said the incident was a disappointment. “There have been attacks on elderly people here and it is saddening that the ANC has decided to use this for politics,” said Mazibuko.

Last year, DA leader Hellen Zille and six other senior party members were forced to abort their inspection of President Jacob Zuma’s compound and the new highway in Nkandla, after angry Zuma supporters blocked the road.

The ANC chairperson in the Moses Mabhida region, Alpha Shelembe, said they were not aware of the incident.

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan confirmed that a case of intimidation had been opened.

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