Ex-ANC chair in family feud

2017-01-19 11:19
Damaged windows of house belonging to one of the Shelembe brothers in Imbali Unit 14. The house was torched yesterday morning after an alleged family feud. BELOW A damaged car belonging to one of the Shelembe brothers. The car was allegedly bashed by Alpha Shelembe (inset) during the family feud.

Damaged windows of house belonging to one of the Shelembe brothers in Imbali Unit 14. The house was torched yesterday morning after an alleged family feud. BELOW A damaged car belonging to one of the Shelembe brothers. The car was allegedly bashed by Alpha Shelembe (inset) during the family feud. (Ian Carbutt/File)

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All hell has broken loose in a family feud involving a member of the provincial legislature, former Msunduzi speaker and deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe.

Shots were allegedly fired and a house belonging to one of the Shelembe brothers was torched during the alleged fracas.

Family members have accused Shelembe, who is the former ANC regional chairperson, of firing shots and bashing a car belonging to a family member.

At the centre of the feud are family assets, which family members say Shelembe is claiming ownership of, and does not want to share with his siblings.

On Tuesday, the feud reached boiling point when Shelembe allegedly removed corrugated iron from one of the houses belonging to a family member and drove off with it.

The Shelembe brothers said their brother, his bodyguard and another family member attacked them while they were trying to get the corrugated iron back.

“He started screaming and shouting and then he fired several shots,” said one of the brothers. They asked that they not be named in their specific quotes.

The Shelembe brothers said they started running in different directions when the shots were fired.

One of the brothers, who they described as daring, stood up to him and confronted him, said the Shelembes.

“A brawl broke out and we overpowered them. We took his gun and he ran for cover,” said one of the brothers.

“We then went to Mpophomeni SAPS, which then provided us with a back-up. Public Order police accompanied us home.

“While we were gathering at home, one of our brothers who is close to Alpha came over and confronted us. He asked why we were fighting with our brother.

“They dragged one of my brothers outside and started assaulting him with a panga and wheel spanner.

“We then called police again, who told us that a public order police [vehicle] had been tasked to monitor the situation,” he said.

On Wednesday morning, the Shelembe brothers said, they received a phone call to say a house belonging to one of them, Simanga Shelembe, had been torched in Imbali Unit 14. Furniture, including a bed, fridge and television, was damaged during the arson attack.

The Shelembe brothers said they now fear for their lives.

“They were attacking us even after police had been called. This shows that they do not respect the rule of law.

“It is clear that they could do anything to harm us. We are not safe at all. We need police protection because they are targeting us,” said one of the Shelembe brothers.

Alpha Shelembe decline to comment on the matter, saying it was still under police investigation.

He did however say that he was attacked on Tuesday night.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and pointing a firearm had been opened, adding no arrests had been made.

Another case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm had also been opened on the same night.

She said Plessislaer police were also investigating a case of malicious damage to property.

Shelembe is not new to controversy.

In 2011, he handed himself over to police in connection with an allegation that he was behind an arson attack that gutted the ANC offices in the region.

The incident coincided with a sit-in at the party building by disgruntled members calling for the disbandment of the entire executive committee, including Shelembe, who had been fingered for alleged corruption at the Msunduzi municipality.

He then resigned as the deputy mayor and as the ANC regional leader in that same year.


Read more on:    anc  |  pietermaritzburg

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