Assault & Intimidation of Action by Umlazi Councillor

16 July 2012
Combined UPM & AbM Press Statement


Yesterday at around 14:00 pm there was a mass gathering of the continuous occupation that is happening in the People's Office that has been set up next to the Councillor's Office, in Ward 88, Umlazi.

A report was given on how the struggle of Umlazi started and how it got the attention of the Branch Executive Committee (BEC) which had come with lot of promises like getting what the community have demanded from them which was a meeting with Nigel Gumede, the Chairperson of the Housing Portfolio Committee and Infrastructure also Willies Mchunu, the MEC of Safety and Community. The meeting of delivering by the BEC sat on Wednesday (04th of July) unfortunately they delivered nothing that was expected and which they had promised. Neither Gumede or Mchunu attended the meeting and the BEC offered nothing but sweet talk.

At the mass gathering of the occupation yesterday it was proposed that the office of the councillor, Nomzamo Mkhize, should be locked as she has done nothing but undermine the community. When people from the community come for office services they are asked to produce ANC membership cards. The councillor has openly stated that the Zakheleni community won’t get assistance from her since they did not vote for her. And anyway the office has become a jacken place. A group of young boys are smoking dagga in the office. It was agreed that the councillors office will be locked today and that if the locking of the office does not get the attention of the people who were requested to remove the councillor then further steps will be taken. As all these discussions and decision took place some of the BEC members were at the meeting taking pictures and recordings of the meeting.

After the meeting while some of the community members were dispersing and while others were continuing to occupy the councillor’s office one lady, Thabile Ngcobo, who was attending the meeting wearing her FAMWU (Farm Workers' Union) T-Shirt was blocked by the councillor's son’s car. He called for his mother, the councillor, and she came with her sisters. They started to question Thabile asking her why did she go to this stupid meeting and why is she wearing this T-Shirt. The councillor then grabbed Thabile and pushed her against the car. Her son started slapping her on her cheekc while his friend kicked her. After that the coumncillor commanded that her son take a picture of the lady claiming they’ll use it. They then took a minor blade and cut her T-Shirt and took it.


Thabile Ngcobo at the Umlazi Occupation 15 July 2012


Thabile lwent back to the community which was still at the occupation and a decision was taken that a case be opened of Intimidation of Action and Assault. The case was opened but no arrest has taken place. It is clear that the police are working for the councillor and not for the community as a whole.

It is clear that the councillor, Mkhize, will do whatever it takes to stop the people from raising their voice and using their rights of freedom of expression. A few weeks back the councillor used the police to silence the people by shooting them. Now that she has seen that this did not help and the struggle is continuing she is taking the law and action of silence to herself.

This has not stopped the people from their commitment to the campaign of “Nomzamo Must Go!” We request again for the MEC of Safety and Community to intervene in this matter as no arrest took place. We therefore also request for Premier to intervene as the Local Government have turned a blind eye to this.

The occupation continues and the struggle continues.

For more information contact:

Bheki Buthelezi: 072 639 9893
China Ngubane: 072 651 9790
Bandile Mdlalose: 071 424 2815