Cape Town – Newly-elected Saldanha Bay Mayor Marius Koen on Tuesday said he was left feeling jittery after a bag containing a knife, a sheep's head, and a live tortoise was left outside his house.
Koen told News24 he had extra security assigned to him after a neighbour saw the bag on the lawn of his Langebaan home on Friday.
“It was a bag soaked in blood. Inside was a sheep's head, and attached to it a red ribbon tied to a living tortoise. The whole bag was moving, and that's how my neighbour spotted it,” he said.
The neighbour told a tiler who was working at Koen's home on Friday morning, who called to tell him about the “funny” package. It also contained a tomato and an onion. He had no idea what these were meant to symbolise.
A laminated message written in "bad Afrikaans" was in the bag. It said he would lose everything and go crazy.
Handling it from 'day to day'
DA councillor Johannes Baaitjies was shot dead in the Northern Cape last Wednesday. He was found on the road between Postmasburg and Danielskuil. When Western Cape local government MEC Anton Bredell told Koen about the murder, he become “all jittery”.
"I have security now, so I'm fine with it at this stage and I handle it from day to day."
DA West Coast chairperson Erik Marais said the threat didn't make any sense following the August 3 election results, as the DA retained the municipality with a clear majority.
"It's ridiculous to have this type of threat. We won 17 out of 27 seats in the elections, so that's a very clear majority. If we won it by one seat, it would be a different story, but that's not the case here.
"There's something more behind it, but we obviously can't put our finger on it."
- Elections Results Map: Saldanha Bay Municipality
Marais hoped the intimidation would be over soon, so Koen could get back to work without his movements being hampered.
Koen was inducted on August 12, taking over from outgoing mayor Francois Scheepers.
Bredell told News24 that councillors’ security was being taken seriously following the death of Baaitjies. The municipal manager was responsible for Koen's safety.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said a criminal case of intimidation was opened on Saturday and Langebaan police were investigating.
Any information about the matter could be directed to Warrant Officer Pieter Lotz on 082-469-6835.
The Saldanha Bay municipal manager's office said it takes the incident very seriously, and VIP protection services were put in place to protect Koen and his residence.
"Langebaan Saps also conduct regular patrols at the premises," spokesperson Ethne Julius said.
A full security assessment is being conducted, she added.