'You are next': Eastern Cape municipal directors receive bullets with chilling note attached

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The Butterworth municipality's corporate services director Siphiwo Caga has opened cases of intimidation with the police in Butterworth following this chilling message.
The Butterworth municipality's corporate services director Siphiwo Caga has opened cases of intimidation with the police in Butterworth following this chilling message.
  • Eastern Cape police are investigating cases of intimidation after two municipal directors received parcels with bullets attached to their photos and a note that read "You are next". 
  • Mnquma municipality has provided bodyguards to its corporate services director Siphiwo Caga and community services director Makhaya Cecil Kibi. 
  • The two are currently presiding over fraud and corruption disciplinary hearings against three senior municipal officials.  

Two Mnquma local municipality directors presiding over fraud and corruption hearings against three managers in the municipality, are living in fear after receiving a bullet each attached to their photos with a message that read: "You are next". 

The Butterworth municipality's corporate services director, Siphiwo Caga and community services director Makhaya Cecil Kibi had each opened cases of intimidation with the police in Butterworth following the death threats.

The automatic rifle ammunition, photos of the men and the hand-written message on a piece of paper, were inside two brown envelopes dumped on the doorsteps of the officials' homes on Friday.  

READ Eastern Cape post office managers being kidnapped, forced at gunpoint to loot branch safes

Mnquma local municipality spokesperson Loyiso Mpalantshana said the officials were preparing to go to work on Friday morning when they received the parcels.  

The bullets were attached with sticky tape to the photos of the senior officials. 

The municipality said the pictures were lifted from Caga and Kibi's WhatsApp profiles. 

Mpalantshana said:

The duo, whose WhatsApp profile pictures were attached to the bullets in the envelope, are currently presiding over the disciplinary hearings of at least three managers in the municipality who are facing an internal probe for charges relating to fraud and corruption, negligence ... Each of the photographs contained a chilling note with words: 'You are next'.

Municipal manager Silumko Mahlasela said the municipality would not be intimidated from carrying out its constitutional mandate.

Mahlasela said they would continue with their duties without fear, favour or prejudice.

Mahlasela said:

Anyone who violates internal policies will be dealt equally and in line with the requirements of the law.

Asked to reveal names and details of the disciplinary hearings, Mpalantshane declined to comment, saying disciplinary matters  involving staff were dealt with internally.

He referred further questions about the criminal cases to the police. 

Mpalantshana said the municipality had provided Caga and Kibi with bodyguards and beefed-up security around them on a 24-hour basis. 

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Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana confirmed the police were investigating complaints of intimidation. 

Kinana said: "The circumstances surrounding the incidents form part of investigation and police are continuing with the investigation."

Speaking to News24 on Tuesday from an undisclosed location, Caga said the incident had left him, his wife and three children frightened and shocked.  

"Part of my job is to ensure compliance and take action against transgressors who violate municipal laws by enforcing consequence management and at the back of mind I have always known that I will face resistance from those who think they are above the law. But I have never anticipated that it will be in the form of death threats," said Caga. 

Caga said as his family's leader, he had no choice but to be strong for them. 

"We are all coping under this difficult situation. Myself, my wife and our kids are frightened and shocked by this incident, but we are coping," said Caga. 

Siphiwo Caga
Mnquma municipality's community services director Makhaya Cecil Kibi said he and his family are frightened and shocked after receiving this chilling message.
death threats
The Butterworth municipality's corporate services director Siphiwo Caga has opened cases of intimidation with the police in Butterworth following this chilling message.

Kibi said the envelope containing the bullet was picked up from the gate by his 12-year-old son, who was on his way to school, who then handed it over to his mother. 

"My wife sat next to me and opened the letter. She was very shaken. We are both shaken. I fear for my wife and three children," said Kibi. 

He added that the threats would cripple service delivery as the free flow of work at his department was now moving at a very slow pace. 

Kibi said because suspects were within the municipality, he had cancelled meetings, including community engagement programmes that would expose him to many people. 

"Service delivery will be affected by this. The security has been beefed up in my office. I am not easily accessible anymore as before. Everyone is treated as a potential instigator. There are metal detectors in my office," said Kibi. 

"It is not easy to live with a bullet hanging over you. You constantly worry that it might hit you at any moment," said Kibi. 

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