Supporters of murder-accused MEC Msibi block roads to demand his reinstatement

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Supporters of murder-accused former MEC protestors burnt down a coal truck on the N4 and confiscated four trucks, which they used to blockade a road in Karino.
Supporters of murder-accused former MEC protestors burnt down a coal truck on the N4 and confiscated four trucks, which they used to blockade a road in Karino.
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Mpumalanga police have had to quell a violent protest on Monday morning by people who demanded that murder-accused former agriculture, rural development, land and environment MEC Mandla Msibi be reinstated.

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said that protestors burnt down a coal truck on the N4 and confiscated four trucks, which they used to blockade a road in Karino. One of the trucks on the Karino road, Mohlala said, carried coal, which the protestors offloaded onto the road.

Mpumalanga protests
Supporters of murder-accused former MEC Mandla Msibi blocked roads near Karino, Mpumalanga on Monday.

The blocked roads lead to Pienaar, Kanyamazane and Matsulu townships.

“They said that they wanted the former MEC to be reinstated. The roads have been cleared and are open again,” Mohlala said.

The ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) recalled Msibi from the PEC and as provincial executive manager. Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane fired him as MEC after he handed himself over to the police on October 11.

READ: Murder accused MEC is released on bail and points fingers at cabinet colleagues  

Msibi was charged for the fatal shooting of Sindela Sipho Lubisi and Dingane Ngwenya, and the attempted murder of Sifiso Mpila on August 22. The incident happened outside Coyote’s Shisa Nyama in Mbombela.

Msibi has been charged alongside Joseph Charlie Ngwenya (35) and Tshepo Matsane (30). They were all released on R20 000 bail each.

The incident has been linked to disputes around the candidate lists, particularly ward 45 in Barberton. Lubisi, Ngwenya and Mpila allegedly tried to gatecrash a meeting at Nutting House Lodge, outside Mbombela, where an extended provincial list conference attended by ANC officials, regional secretaries and alliance members was sitting. They were shot at in their VW Polo, allegedly by people who were in a double-cab bakkie.

The root cause of this, it is alleged, was the nomination of Njabulo “Tshugulugu” Mkhonto as ward 45 candidate. This pitted Msibi against his colleague, Finance and Economic Development MEC Vusi Mkhatshwa, who is from ward 44 in Barberton.

Mkhatshwa and his group were allegedly displeased by Mkhonto’s nomination, which they claimed was imposed by provincial ANC leadership.

Mkhonto has claimed that his life was in danger and had sought refuge in Msibi’s house in Pienaar since August 18. He has also claimed that more than 10 people who supported him have since been killed.

READ: ‘I have always been a target’– Mandla Msibi 

Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC, Vusi Shongwe, condemned the road blockades.

Shongwe said in statement: 

We are not a lawless state. People must protest and raise their unhappiness within the ambit of the law. Our country is still reeling from the ravaging pandemic that left many people without jobs. Therefore any person whose actions sabotage the economy must be harshly dealt with. Communities should refrain from blockading the road because that is not only dangerous for people requiring urgent medical attention, it also sabotages our economy.
Vusi Shongwe
Mpumalanga protests
Supporters of murder-accused former MEC Mandla Msibi confiscated coal trucks during a protest for his reinstatement on Monday.

Shongwe called on the police to promptly bring to book any person who is directly engaged in road closures or mobilising the community to do so.

He also encouraged leaders in all spheres of government to constantly engage and communicate with communities to avoid unnecessary protests. He also called on communities not to allow thugs or criminals elements to hijack protests for their own nefarious ends.


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Sizwe sama Yende 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
sizwe.yende@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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