Two Arrests Made in Connection with the Shootings in Umlazi, Further Threats to Bheki Buthelezi

Monday, 13 August 2012
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement

Two Arrests Made in Connection with the Shootings in Umlazi, Further Threats to Bheki Buthelezi

On the 30th June Bhekimuzi Ndlovu was shot in the Zakheleni shack settlement following a series of protests against the Ward Councillor and for land, housing and other development. The case number is 225/07/2012.

Ndlovu had become close to Bheki Buthelezi and to the struggle that was being organised in the Zakheleni shack settlement. However he had been close to the local ANC and the councillor and so they saw him as a traitor. He was shot by supporters of the ruling party. They sacrificed him, like an animal. They thought that he was dead. After Ndlovu was shot the ANC supporters convened a meeting and said that Bheki Buthelezi was the one who had shot Ndlovu. It has become a typical tactic of repression for the ruling party to engage in violence against activists and to then blame the activists for this violence. However unbeknownst to the local ANC Ndlovu had survived the shooting and was in hospital.

The next day, when the ANC supporters released that Ndlovu had survived, a delegation of people went to the hospital. They said that they were there to pray. After they left Ndlovu started violently vomiting. The doctor diagnosed poisoning and, after treating him, immediately moved him to a high security ward in an undisclosed hospital. Only his immediate family know where he is.

After the poisoning it was decided to call an open meeting was called in the settlement to discuss the matter. It was decided to send four people, all trusted by the family, to the hospital with a video camera to ask Ndlovu who had shot him so that rumours and allegations could be put to rest and this matter cleared up once and for all. The people that went to the hospital took a camera and they videorized all that Ndlovu was saying. Ndlovu said that he was shot by Makhendlasi Ndlovu, Siyabonga Ndlovu and one other man. Everyone in Zakheleni knows that Makhendlasi Ndlovu is very close to the councillor.

On Saturday night a group of armed men came to Bheki’s shack. Their faces were covered. They said that they were IFP but some were recognised and they are well known as people who are close to the ANC councillor. They shook the fence and said that they were looking for Bheki. They made all kinds of threats. They also made threats about Ayanda Kota saying that he is an Mpondo interfering in Zulu affairs and that he is bribing Bheki with KFC to organise the people. One of the many reasons why there was a rebellion against the councillor was that she and her committee were discriminating against Mpondo people.

The police were called to rush to Bheki’s shack. They came but they did not follow the armed, masked men when they went into a nearby house and sat inside with the lights off.

Yesterday, which was Sunday, another open meeting was called and the video was played to everyone through a computer. Last night about 800 people marched on the police station and forced the Commissioner to make arrests. At around ten p.m. last night the two men that were named as the shooters in the video were arrested. The police addressed the community and said that they will continue their investigation and that they expect to arrest the third man soon.

Bheki has sent his family away. He does not sleep at home. Every night he sleeps in a different shack in a different area. This is how grassroots activists have to live their lives in SA. It is like guiding a thread through the eye of a needle on a dark night.

For more information please contact:

Bheki Buthelezi: 072 639 9893
Ayanda Kota: 078 625 6462