DA councillor ‘roughed up’ over ANC docs

2017-03-26 06:00
Khunjulwa Pilane

Khunjulwa Pilane

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A DA councillor was allegedly assaulted and her foot was injured when she questioned why municipal resources were being used to print ANC documents.

Khunjulwa Pilane, 37, DA councillor in Mpumalanga’s Bushbuckridge municipality, was allegedly roughed up when she demanded answers from ANC politicians as to why they used public resources for the governing party’s business early this month.

City Press has seen Pilane’s affidavit submitted to the police in which she claimed that she had gone to the mayor’s boardroom to have lunch during a break following a gender equity workshop she was attending, when she witnessed “a boy” printing ANC documents in Mayor Sylvia Nxumalo’s office. When she asked why the documents were there, the young man and the councillor allegedly swore at her. She grabbed one of the documents and when she found it to be an ANC membership list, the councillor allegedly attacked her. In the scuffle, her phone was knocked out of her hand and its screen broke, the statement read.

She said she endured a lengthy argument with municipal manager Canzi Lisa, council speaker Ruth Raganya and ANC chief whip Million Makaringe. The police and security guards also joined in the fray and allegedly manhandled her.

Pilane said a security guard and the police were called to remove her. They allegedly stomped on her foot with their boots – causing swelling and soft-tissue injury – as they tried to eject her from the mayor’s office. More police allegedly arrived and they threatened her with trespassing charges. Another cop allegedly told her to “voetsek”.

A few days later, Raganya and Makaringe had a meeting with Pilane where they allegedly proposed that she return the documents she confiscated as evidence and promised to replace her broken phone “at no cost”, but she refused.

Brigadier Leonard Hlathi of the Mpumalanga police confirmed that Pilane had laid an assault charge, but did not answer any further questions about alleged police intimidation.

Speaking on behalf of the speaker and chief whip, Bushbuckridge municipal spokesperson Aubrey Mnisi presented a version different to Pilane’s, saying after an investigation it was established that a councillor was printing “one document on an ANC letterhead”, which was an apology to Makaringe about a caucus meeting he was not able to attend.

“The councillor used the printer to make [a copy of] an apology since he’s deployed by the ANC,” he said.

Pilane said she planned to get a court order to access the information about the misuse of state resources by the governing party. “It’s my right to ask for information in this municipality,” she said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  politics

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