BLF deputy president throttled during attack in Soweto flat

An attack on the deputy president of Black First Land First in the early hours of Saturday is believed to be politically motivated and not a chance criminal act, the movement has insisted.

An assailant gained entry to BLF’s Zanele Lwana’s Soweto flat at about 02:00 and attacked her, spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp confirmed in a statement.

“[She] fought back. During the scuffle other comrades woke up and the intruder fled with two phones including the one of the deputy president,” Maasdorp said.

“The intruder tried to strangle the deputy president, leaving her with an injured neck and bruises on her arms. [We believe] this was … [an] act to try intimidate [Lwana] with the hope of making her back off from submitting evidence to the Zondo Commission on state capture.”

Maasdorp said Lwana was expected to testify to the Zondo Commission on February 12.

“BLF will inform the commission about this attempt to intimidate the deputy president of our movement. BLF warns all those implicated in corruption to now back off because nothing will stop the BLF from submitting evidence to Judge Zondo.”

Maasdorp said police had refused to allow them to lay charges as they required serial numbers for the cellphones and a J88 form listing her injuries.

"What is sad is that the police who were called to the crime scene were totally unhelpful and refused to open a case."

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela, however, said that when the officers arrived at the scene, the three women were found to be under the influence of alcohol.

"They couldn't take their statements because of this. They are welcome to come and open a case now [that they're sober]," he said.

Maasdorp, however, "completely refutes" that they had been intoxicated.

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