uMtshezi’s IFP mayor charged with assault

2011-02-02 00:00

THE new Inkatha Freedom Party mayor in the uMtshezi Municipality is allegedly linked to a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm against an IFP member.

Local police are investigating.

The alleged assault against IFP member Sfiso Mchunu — who is reportedly now in hiding — took place at a local hall during a community meeting that took place on Sunday.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that councillor Bhekithemba Dlamini’s name is among those mentioned in a report by Mchunu of an assault with GBH .

However Dlamini said the accusation is a plot by certain IFP leaders in the area to have him ousted as mayor, just like his predecessor, Maliyakhe Shelembe.

Mchunu was allegedly assaulted after being forcibly taken to a meeting that was being held at Wembezi C section community hall on Sunday.

The IFP in the Estcourt area is divided among those who support former national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi to take over IFP leadership and those who want Mangosuthu Buthelezi to continue leading the party. More than 10 people have been killed there since the start of the internal strife.

Zwane said police are investigating and no arrests had been made so far.

IFP uMtshezi constituency secretary, Mthembeni Majola, confirmed the assault on ­Mchunu and said the case had been brought against Dlamini and other former IFP members who are now linked to the NFP.

“Two days before the incident, Mchunu was branded a sellout by some known people in the area.

He was taken in front of his mother and dragged into a van and to a meeting. He was then assaulted with wooden sticks and left with a warning that if he opened a case with police, his house would be burnt down,” Majola said.

Majola reiterated his call for Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele to intervene in the conflict taking place in the area.

Dlamini said he has heard that a case has been opened against him. He said he believes this is a plot led by Majola to have him ousted as the mayor.

“Now that he’s succeeded in ousting Shelembe, he wants to do the same with me. The IFP should now realise that Majola intends to kill the party for his personal gain,” Dlamini said.

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