Video angers councillors

2014-06-23 00:00

A KWAZULU-NATAL mayor has angered and upset councillors in the KwaSani Municipality after he allegedly circulated a video clip showing four women being decapitated by a group of balaclava-clad men.

Now the Democratic Alliance plans laying charges with the police against mayor Mduduzi Banda and wants Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube to take action against the first citizen of the municipality in Underberg.

DA MPL Francois Rodgers said yesterday Banda allegedly circulated the video clip on the WhatsApp group used by the municipality to communicate council matters to the seven councillors, senior officials and committee clerks.

“It is inconceivable that the mayor should intentionally use council communication platform to distribute a barbaric video clip.

“It has absolutely no bearing on municipal matters and Banda had no explanation as to why he circulated it to councillors and officials of KwaSani,” Rodgers said.

The video shows the men first shooting the women and then cutting their heads and limbs using machetes and axes. One of the men even holds up the head of one of the women to the cameraman.

A screengrab of the municipal WhatsApp service shows that the video was sent just before 3 pm on Friday afternoon.

“This type of reckless behaviour is unbecoming of a community leader and does nothing to build unity and create the spirit of ubuntu in our rainbow nation,” Rodgers charged.

Patricia Crawley, one of the councillors who received the video clip via WhatApp on her cellphone, said she received a message containing the video on Friday afternoon.

“On Friday afternoon, I got the video with no explanation from the mayor. When I clicked it, I found that it was the most horrifying video. It affected me so badly.

“In that WhatsApp group, there are councillors, directors and committee clerks. I don’t know whether it was sent to us to incite violence against women or as a threat. I was so distressed after viewing it,” she said.

“It is the first time I saw it,” said Crawley when asked if any other videos had been sent before.

While Rodgers was unsure if a case had been opened with the police, he said the KwaSani councillors who were offended by the video clip would definitely do so. He added that Dube-Ncube should fire Banda.

“He is clearly unfit for public office,” Rodgers said.

Banda could not be reached for comment because his cellphone was switched off and ANC provincial spokesperson Senzo Mkhize was unavailable as he was attending the ANC lekgotla in Empangeni.

Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the department did not have details on the video. “We are not privy to the video, its details or the intentions of the mayor.”

He said mentioning the name of the MEC was uncalled for and called on parties to first sensitise her regarding their concerns before they rushed to the media.

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