This is not the first attempt on my life - KZN municipal speaker

2018-05-24 15:43


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A KwaZulu-Natal municipal speaker is in shock after the Hawks arrested the mayor, a councillor and a third person for allegedly plotting her assassination, saying it was not the first time she had been targeted.

IFP-run Endumeni Local Municipality speaker Winfreda Mbatha-Makhathini told News24 on Thursday that she was "shocked" after hearing the news.

"I cannot tell you how shocked I am at this. I was expecting it to be someone I did not know, not someone from within my party," Mbatha-Makhathini said.

The Hawks said on Thursday that the 31-year-old mayor, a councillor and a hitman had been arrested during pre-dawn raids for allegedly plotting to kill Mbatha-Makhathini.

READ: KZN mayor, 2 others arrested for alleged assassination plot against municipal speaker

She was alerted to the plot against her life last Wednesday when the Hawks called her to the Dundee police station for a meeting.

"They came with a letter from the High Court, saying there was a plot to kill me. My threat analysis was done by Crime Intelligence. They came with a report to say I was in danger. My security was beefed up. I waited for police to do their work. Fortunately, they did, and they have made arrests."

Mbatha-Makhathini was, however, cautious to immediately slam her mayor.

"The court has not judged anyone guilty. We will have to see what happens at that stage."

Not the first plot

Mbatha-Makhathini said this was not the first plot to assassinate her. She told News24 that, earlier this year, her one-man security detail was shot in the leg and died in hospital a few weeks later.

"It was around 04:00 and I was home with my brother. We heard my security arguing with someone who wanted to come inside. Then we heard a gunshot. We looked outside and found him lying on the floor."

Mbatha-Makhathini said that, in February, her brother who was visiting from Johannesburg, had noticed a Toyota Tazz surveying her home.

"I was not around when that happened. They did not know he was my brother, because he is not from my area. He heard them talking about how they would come into my home. He told me about it and I alerted the police. My brother took down the registration of the car. One man was arrested in the Sibongile Hostel shortly after that. Three others in the car with him were not there during the arrest."

'As a party, we view this in a serious light'

The IFP, meanwhile, distanced itself from the Endumeni mayor's alleged actions.

"As a matter of principle, we categorically state that as the IFP, we abhor any act of using violence to resolve whatever issues the people may have," IFP deputy national spokesperson Joshua Mazibuko said.

Mazibuko added that, while they were aware that "we are talking about allegations for now", the party was concerned that they implicated a leader "who is supposed to be exemplary".

"As a party, we view this in a very serious light. Consequently, as the IFP, we have begun our internal processes towards understanding what happened, with a view to taking appropriate steps. We, however, wish to applaud the police for acting swiftly to prevent what may have been yet another politically-motivated murder."

Read more on:    ifp  |  durban  |  crime

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