Shaka’s Head councillor’s house and car burnt

2016-02-24 06:00
Photo: supplied The burnt car that belonged to the councillor.

Photo: supplied The burnt car that belonged to the councillor.

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PROTESTERS in Shaka’s Head allegedly burnt ward 4 councillor Jetro Banda’s house and car on Monday demanding that he be removed from his position.

The protesters took to the streets in the early hours of the morning and reportedly blocked the R102 and N2 with burning tyres and trees.

Speaking to the Weekly, Banda said he does not feel safe following his house and car being burnt.

He said the protest was initiated and led by individuals, whom he believes, are South African Communist Party (SACP) local leaders, who were misleading members of the public about the process to be followed to elect a candidate that would run for this year’s local government elections.

He said the nomination process at ANC branch level had been concluded with him receiving majority of the votes, 85%.

“One of the four candidates actually said the process was fair,” said Banda.

However, he added that some of the contenders were now blockading a public meeting where the four candidates would be introduced.

“They are lying to the people by telling them that at the public meeting a candidate to stand for being councillor will be elected, that is not true. At the public meeting the four candidates will be introduced to members of the public for the public to have a say, but only the province [the party’s internal structures] will elect who should stand as a councillor,” he said.

Banda said those leading the protest had called a meeting on Sunday and rallied attendees behind the call that Banda should be removed as councillor.
He said no reasons were being stated as to why he should be removed.

Banda said the matter had become tribal and about differences in ethnicities, claiming the ringleaders had coined a statement which calls for the Nyasa, Banda, to be replaced by Impondo.

According to the online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia: “The Nyasa are a people of southeastern Africa, concentrated mainly in Malawi, southwestern Tanzania and parts of northern Mozambique,” and, “AmaMpondo or Mpondo people are an ethnic group whose homeland is in the modern-day Eastern Cape province of South Africa.”

SACP Greater KwaDukuza Regional spokesperson, Thami Mngomezulu said the party distances itself from violent and destructive actions.

“We condemn with the strongest possible terms the damage to property and hope the police will bring the culprits to book,” said Mngomezulu.

He further stated that the SACP condemns the police’s use of rubber bullets to disperse protesters.

He said the protest in the area had nothing to do with the party.

“The SACP does not contest elections. Those are processes of the ANC that are unfolding in the area. However, as a component of the alliance we will intervene to seek the best resolution to the matter,” he said.

Member of the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee, who is also part of an appeals committee, Maggie Govender and ANC Greater KwaDukuza Regional spokesperson Lucky Makhathini addressed members of the media on Monday afternoon about the situation in Shaka’s Head.

The two said a public meeting will be held this coming weekend where the four nominated candidates will be introduced to the community. They said the Greater KwaDukuza Region would oversee this process to ensure the meeting is conducted accordingly.

They said the public has been misled into believing that a candidate running councillor has been elected. They said the Regional Executive Committee has not elected any individual to stand for elections in any of the wards, adding that the provincial structure still has to have an input in the process.

They reiterated Mngomezulu’s statement that the SACP is not involved but rather the unfolding events were internal ANC matters.

They said any member of the party who is in good standing can lodge an appeal if they are not satisfied with certain processes, which makes protests of this nature unnecessary.

They further expressed the party’s disapproval of the violence that ensued.

Twenty people, aged between 28 and 32, were arrested for public violence on Monday. They appeared in the KwaDukuza’s Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

SAPS provincial spokesperson, Major Thulani Zwane said they were later released on R500 bail each.

He said a case of arson and malicious damage to property was opened for investigation after the councillor’s house and car were set alight. No arrests have been made.

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