Residents on rampage

2016-04-07 06:00

Mfuleni residents have gone out on a rampage and torched the house of a councillor and the local community hall.

The incident took place last Thursday and Ward 108 Councillor Themba Honono was the target, with the residents venting the rage, setting his house, furniture and car alight.

Honono was out of town when the residents, who had just been evicted from a land they had illegally occupied by Law Enforcement officials, stormed into his house causing massive damage.

Honono said the incident was “politically motivated”, but he did not elaborate.

“You cannot go to a private property and loot if you are not happy about the service delivery. The ANC is not in power in this province and people know where to go to raise their grievances about service delivery...this is politically motivated. I do not understand this. It just does not add-up,” Honono said.

He said the looters went as far as taking his fridge, microwave, clothes and food.

His Audi had broken windows and its body damaged, and furniture-which was later recovered by some residents who intervened-were still lying in the yard when by Friday noon.

Thembakazi Honono, the councillor’s sister, who rushed to the house during the incident, said she was shocked to find the damage at her brother’s house.

“The house was petrol-bombed...luckily the smoke-detectors in the house sprinkled water and the fire was extinguished before it could spread. They stole television sets, microwaves, his laptop and other belongings.

Some residents gave chase to them(looters) and managed to recover some of the items...I thank God that no one was injured,” she said.

Thembakazi also said this was the second time the councillor’s house was damaged.

The first incident happened two days after he took office in 2011.

However, some residents were adamant that they had done the right thing.

Patrick Yako said: “We are tired of false promises by our councillor. It is almost a month. He promised us that he was going to let us occupy the piece of land opposite the flats,” .

Yako, 45, vowed that he and others would occupy the disputed piece of land behind a block of flats on Ngubela Street.

Residents allege the councillor had said they could occupy the land, but that when they moved in, law enforcement officers broke down the shacks the next day.

Thandile Mbuyazwe, of the Mfuleni Backyarders, said, “Residents are demanding houses but they go about it the wrong way.”

JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, said the protesters also damaged three City vehicles and one private car.

Captain Nomathemba Muavha, communication officer at Mfuleni police station, said “Mfuleni police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property,”

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