Freed without charge

2018-12-19 15:00
UMgungundlovu deputy mayor, Fucwana Zungu.

UMgungundlovu deputy mayor, Fucwana Zungu. (Clive Ndou)

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uMgungundlovu District Municipality deputy mayor, Fucwana Zungu, will be suing the minister of police following her arrest on “trumped-up” charges. 

“We are briefing our lawyers ... we are definitely taking the matter forward,” her husband, Thulani Zungu, said on Tuesday.

The deputy mayor had been expected to face charges of fraud on Tuesday, but she was released without charge. She was arrested on Saturday in a packed supermarket in Pietermaritzburg and held in the police cells in Howick over the long weekend.

According to her husband, members of the political task team investigating political killings in the province, told the deputy mayor that they had secured a warrant of arrest against her for her alleged involvement in the illegal allocation of government-funded housing in KwaPata.

“I told them that the house was allocated to my mother several years ago and that I have documents to prove that, but they were simply not interested. They were so determined to get her locked up to the extent that they ignored all the facts we were putting before them,” he said.

The Witness recently reported that a Pietermaritzburg woman, Ngcane Sithole (56), had claimed that the house, which she alleged was illegally transferred to the deputy mayor’s family, was built for her.

It appears that it is Sithole’s complaint that led members of the task team to arrest the deputy mayor.

The deputy mayor, who spent the long weekend behind bars, was released on Tuesday afternoon after prosecutors had established that the house which Sithole claimed was taken away from her could not be the one occupied by Zungu’s family members.

“The most painful thing about this whole thing is that members of the task team had all the information but still went ahead and arrested her.

“They humiliated her in front of the public and made her spend the long weekend in a prison cell — surely someone has to pay for the suffering they put her through,” Zungu said.

The deputy mayor is the aunt of Msunduzi Municipality ward 10 councillor Nkosinathi Gambu, who alongside her son, Gift, is in custody in connection with the murder of Pieter­maritzburg ANC activist, Musawenkosi “Maqatha” Mchunu.

Gambu and the deputy mayor are part of an ANC faction that supported former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for president of the party last year.

Some in the deputy mayor’s faction believe that her arrest is part of a campaign by the Cyril Ramaphosa faction to punish them for supporting Dlamini-Zuma.

“It is clear that this task team has a political agenda — they have been drawn into ANC factional battles,” said a former member of the party’s regional executive committee, who is in the same camp as the deputy mayor.

The task team was established by Ramaphosa in June following a spike in political killings in the province.


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