Bergville Speaker survives assassins

2019-08-22 08:52
Speaker of Okhahlamba, in Bergville, Sithembiso Zulu survived an assassination attempt.PHOTO:

Speaker of Okhahlamba, in Bergville, Sithembiso Zulu survived an assassination attempt.PHOTO:

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The speaker of Okhahlamba, in Bergville, is living in fear after surviving an attempt on his life when his car was shot at several times this week.

Yesterday Sithembiso Zulu told The Witness he was on his way home when he was ambushed by armed men in a white bakkie without number plates on Monday. He said there were four people travelling with him. They were all shaken by the attack, but fortunately no one was harmed

“When the first bullet connected I thought it was a stone that hit the car, but then I heard gunfire. That’s when I realised we were under attack,” he said.

While it was not clear how many shots were fired by the gunmen, Zulu said 11 bullets hit the car and six were suspected to have come from a rifle. He said he could not continue with his journey home as he feared the assailants would follow him to finish the job.

“The intention was obviously to cause harm so I wasn’t going to take any chances with my life or my family’s by exposing them to danger because I don’t think what happened was a case of mistaken identity.”

The areas around Bergville were at the epicentre of political violence when the ANC clashed with the IFP in the 1990s, but Zulu thought the region had been relatively stable and there was tolerance across political organisations. “I honestly don’t know who wants me dead because I don’t have any enemies that I’m aware of and I have good relations with my colleagues across political parties.

“Up until this incident, I’ve never been scared of going anywhere across the region because I’ve never had any encounter that made me feel that I could come under attack. Even during protests, I’ve never been rejected by the aggrieved communities when I go out to meet with them,” said Zulu.

Mayor Mlungisi Ndlangisa urged the police to take swift action in investigating Zulu’s attempted murder.

“As a council and on behalf of the entire municipality, we are thankful that there were no injuries and that the speaker remained unharmed.”

MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka called for an end to the recent spate of violence directed at public representatives in municipalities.

He said KZN was

still “licking its wounds” after the assassination of IFP councillor Mthembeni Majola from Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality in Estcourt on Friday.

“Violence against councillors is becoming a disturbing trend which requires urgent attention ...

“Violence is deplorable and must be universally condemned,” said Hlomuka

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg
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