ANC councillor’s home shot at in Richmond

2014-06-24 00:00

ANOTHER senior member of the ANC in Richmond woke up to the sound of bullets as his homestead in the Gengeshe rural area came under attack by unknown assailants in the early hours of yesterday morning.

This after eight months of political stability in the area since a spate of violent attacks were carried out, including gunshots being fired at the home of the mayor, Andrew Ragavaloo; the speaker Thulani Shabalala’s car being torched; and councillors’ houses being set alight last year.

It is speculated that the shooting at the home of Ward 6 councillor Musawakhe Jili is linked to ANC regional infighting, because the attack took place seven days before Ward 6 is set to hold a public meeting to get consensus from members of the public on the performance of Jili.

An angry Jili said this had been the third attempt on his life. “I had been away running back-to-back meetings yesterday [Sunday] and I came back tired. I had supper, and did not even watch the news on television, then I went to sleep,” he said.

Jili said he was awoken by the sound of gunfire just after midnight. “Those who were already awake said they heard a car slowly driving away after they had shot at my house,” he said.

Jili said he believed since he was elected to be a councillor, those who had opposed him had never accepted his nomination.

Jili said his house was shot at in 2012, and six months later he was attacked again; this time his brother was injured in the shooting and was left paralysed. He later died in 2013.

“I also suspect that this could also be linked to the fact that I unearthed corruption among those who have been stealing funds from the Community Property Association, which is being investigated by the Department of Rural Development,” he said.

Jili said he believed this was a strategy to intimidate him ahead of a public meeting to be held on Sunday, June 29.

“My elderly parents and children were very traumatised by this,” he said.

Richmond municipality speaker Thulani Shabalala said this was a fight against deployed councillors. “They are fighting against service delivery because our councillors were delivering,” he said.

Shabalala said there were criminal elements who aimed to intimidate their councillors. “There’s a team of councillors that have been targeted to be removed from council and Jili is one of those,” said Shabalala.

He said this meant that their councillors needed private security and for the police commissioner to deploy public order police in Richmond.

ANC Moses Mabhida regional chairperson Alpha Shelembe said in a text message that he had not yet heard “about the unfortunate incident”.

He said criminal activities directed at “our councillor is unfortunate, and can never be tolerated, regardless of who the perpetrators are, but I don’t believe that they can be linked to our regional normal operational programmes known by all ANC structures and members in Richmond”.

Captain Thulani Zwane said a case of attempted murder has been opened for investigation by Richmond SAPS. He said no arrests had been made.

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