‘Arson a step backwards’ – Mfecane

The office of Ward 85 councillor Simthembile Mfecane was petrol-bombed in the early hours of last Wednesday (25 September).PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI
The office of Ward 85 councillor Simthembile Mfecane was petrol-bombed in the early hours of last Wednesday (25 September).PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

The office of a local ward councillor was petrol-bombed in the early hours of Wednesday 25 September.

Simthembile Mfecane, councillor for Ward 85, was alerted to the attack on his office hours later. This is the second attack on the municipal facility this year. In June vandals scattered rotten food throughout the office, which forced the closure of the office for several days (“Councillor faces ‘a real stink’”, City Vision, 6 June).

In the first incident, the vandals gained entry to the office by forcing open the office door. At the time, Lwandle police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Gama confirmed the matter was under investigation.

On Monday 30 September, Mfecane said the most recent attack had again affected the office’s operations. He further claimed one of the cans used to “bomb” the office was found mere metres from the door.

“These incidents are really setting us back as the community,” he said, standing outside the bolted facility. “As a result of the attack, we are now unable to assist residents who come to our offices for help.

“I can’t work because the walls inside the facility were damaged during the petrol bombing. When you enter the facility, you are greeted with a smell of burning, so we are currently unable to function.”

Gama confirmed the police are investigating a case of arson. He said a security guard on patrol near Nomzamo Community Hall noticed one of the office doors had been burnt.

“There was also a plastic bottle that smelled of petrol not far from the ward councillor’s office door.”

Siyabonga Macaula, chairperson of the Lwandle Community Policing Forum, said they condemned the incident in the strongest terms. “It is too early to speculate the cause of such an act, but we hope our police will do their utmost best to apprehend the perpetrators so they can face the law,” he said. Macaula added that as far as the community is concerned, people who commit such deeds should not be allowed to reside in their communities. “Our communities should not allow such hooligans to destroy offices that assist our most marginalised people.

“Communities are the custodians of this office, and they should protect and not destroy it.”

Gama urged anyone with information on the incident to phone Lwandle police on 021 845 2026 or CrimeStop on 08600 10111.

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