Mayor survives attempt on her life by gunmen

2013-04-12 00:00

IMBABAZANE Local Municipality IFP mayor Phindile Strydom on Wednesday survived an attempt on her life outside her home.

Strydom had just arrived at her Phangweni Mission home after attending a meeting in Ladysmith, when unknown gunmen shot at her car. The attack was foiled by her two bodyguards, who returned fire, and the gunmen showed a clean pair of heels.

Reliving the attack, Strydom said: “As we were entering the driveway, one of my guards got out of the car and was running alongside it as it was moving. He heard the sound of a weapon being cocked and saw a man hiding in the bush.”

As the man — on the right hand side of the driveway — began firing at the car, the guard returned fire and the mayor saw another man on the left hand side also firing his weapon.

“In the car, I was with another guard and the driver. The guard in the passenger seat also fired from inside the car at the second gunman,” Strydom told The Witness.

Strydom said the attempt on her life did not come as a surprise as she, along with the speaker and a number of councillors, had been informed by intelligence that they were going to be targeted.

She also suspected that the attack was politically motivated with the National Freedom Party somehow involved, especially after the party, which formed a coalition with the ANC, had attempted to remove Strydom from her office last year.

ANC provincial spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said it would be difficult to speculate, but it was up to the police to investigate.

NFP national chairperson Maliyakhe Shelembe said pointing fingers would not help.

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