Boy Mamabolo: ‘Jacob Lebogo has just shot me’

2014-09-21 15:00

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After he’d been shot in the chest, allegedly by a political rival, ANC Limpopo branch leader Boy Mamabolo staggered around asking people: “Did you see what that man just did to me?”

This is one of the dramatic details revealed by a witness to the shooting on Sunday night of Mamabolo and three others at a popular Polokwane nightspot during a Metro FM party.

City Press has learnt that Mamabolo and Jacob Lebogo, a former leader of the ANC Youth League in Limpopo, squabbled at Jembe Tavern, a pub at Polokwane’s Meropa Casino two nights before the shooting.

It appears the fight continued and hotted up at Waterland Chisanyama on Sunday night.

Eyewitnesses told City Press there was a brief verbal confrontation between the two.

They claim that Lebogo left and returned wielding a gun. He allegedly started shooting at Mamabolo. Three others were shot, too, and sustained minor injuries.

The gunshots were fired while Metro?FM DJ Glen Lewis was on the decks.

“Soon after the gunshots, I saw Mamabolo still walking, pacing up and down, saying to those he knew: ‘Lebogo has just shot me’ and ‘Did you see what that man just did to me?’” one source said.

“His hand was pressed against a visible gunshot wound on his chest as he probably tried to stop blood which was visible though his blue Mamelodi Sundowns FC golf shirt. His friends came, grabbed him and he was ferried to the hospital.”

Lebogo indicated during his bail application in the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court on Thursday that he would plead not guilty to a charge of attempted murder because he’d acted in “self-defence”.

Lebogo and Mamabolo are long-standing rivals.

Mamabolo’s uncle Sonny said the family was aware of the animosity between the two. “We knew of it but never expected it to turn this nasty because they grew up together in the same neighbourhood and were all into politics,” Sonny said.

“Boy spent the day at a family gathering in a jovial mood until he received a phone call and left. Hours later, we received bad news.”

According to Sonny, his nephew was a “lovely”, family-orientated” person. “I was very surprised when people said he’s sometimes violent,” said the uncle.

Mamabolo has been accused by his critics of provoking Lebogo and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, another former youth league leader.

“In most cases [Mamabolo] confronts them and Lebogo, because of his cool character, has been avoiding him in most cases even when he was extremely pushy. They fought or hurled insults at each other whenever they met,” a youth league member from Seshego said.

Some people insist their rivalry was not politically motivated, saying it was personal, though nobody could give any more detail.

Malema and his allies have complained bitterly on social media this week that the EFF leader’s name is being linked to Sunday’s shooting – but a lot of their animosity seems to stem from how they relate to Malema.

Moss Maponya, who worked closely in the province’s ANC-aligned structures with Mamabolo, said the duo’s relationship soured after Malema ascended to national chairman of the youth league in 2008.

“Lebogo was then provincial secretary of the [youth league] and he became Malema’s gatekeeper, and began abusing his friendship with Malema. He’d use that to influence outcomes on who must lead in political structures, and when many of us could not stand up and speak against it, Boy did,” Maponya said.

“Boy calls a spade a spade and he fought on until the Limpopo [youth league] leadership of Lebogo and others was disbanded. He also made enemies with Malema along the way because they differed politically.”

Mamabolo was once arrested and accused of smashing Lebogo’s car, though he was released and charges were withdrawn.

Lebogo’s name cropped up when Malema and Mamabolo had a nasty public spat and the latter threatened to exhume Malema’s mother’s remains.

Mamabolo later claimed he was provoked and that Malema had instructed Lebogo and his other friend Jossey Buthane to sleep with his girlfriend. Another youth league member, who asked to stay anonymous, said things hadn’t always been bad between the pair.

“Together with Malema, Lebogo and Mamabolo were a circle of close friends brought together by their equal love of politics. Malema became powerful, Lebogo then wanted Malema for himself and shut doors in others’ faces including Mamabolo,” he said.

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