Woman assaulted by dumpsite staff

2013-12-28 00:00

AN employee at the uMngeni Municipal dumpsite allegedly grabbed a woman by her throat and threatened her, for dumping her refuse in the wrong place.

Msongelwa Mvelase was charged with grievous bodily harm and appeared at the Howick Magistrate’s Court. He is expected back in court on January 21.

Sarah March, who reported the incident to the police, said she was threatened, assaulted and intimidated at the municipality’s Curry’s Post dumpsite earlier this month, after she offloaded her household refuse in the wrong place.

March said that on December 7, she had gone to the refuse site and since it had rained heavily, created boggy conditions, her vehicle struggled to get to the area where she should have offloaded, so she tried to find a spot close at hand.

She says she had unloaded one bag when a TLB driver approached and gesticulated that she should drive up to where other vehicles were offloading. “In return, I gesticulated that I was unable to do so as my wheels kept spinning. I then proceeded to unload another bag,” she said in a statement to the police.

According to March, the driver allegedly drove to her vehicle and placed the bucket approximately five centimetres from her, blocking her from unloading her remaining refuse.

He then allegedly set the bucket of the TLB over the roof of her car. “I did not know what to do so I took out my cellphone and attempted to film his actions. Once he saw me filming him, he lifted his bucket, reversed and pulled up near my vehicle.

March said the driver got out of the TLB and started shouting at her in Zulu. He then allegedly grabbed her by the shoulder and knocked her cellphone out of her hand. When she tried to push him away the man allegedly lunged at her, grabbing her by the throat. She said the people at the dump pulled him off. “I have experienced a lot of pain in my neck and throat and feel vulnerable because of his threat,” she said.

Ward councillor Moira Grueneberg said this was the second reported incident of a resident being assaulted by a employee. Grueneberg said such behaviour was a dismissible offence. “… It is abhorrent, and brings the municipality in disrepute,” she added

Captain Lolly Moodley confirmed that Mvelase had been arrested and would appear in court next year.

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