Armed mob mars handout of food, clothes

Prudence Mini

A GROUP of women bringing clothes and food to families that were victims of politically motivated violence in Motherwell were yesterday barred from entering NU29 by a mob armed with knobkerries and sticks.

The women, led by ANC regional chairman Nceba Faku, were bringing help to the four families who lost all their belongings when their shacks were burnt during political clashes last month.

Instead, they were met by a mob which prevented them from entering Mahlabathini, saying they were not warned of the visit by Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Zanoxolo Wayile and Ward 54 councillor Aaron Nyikilana – whom they support.

They said the absence of Wayile and Nyikilana made them suspicious of the motives behind the visit. The women eventually met at the NU11 stadium where they distributed the goods.

ANC Siphiwo Mtimkulu branch secretary Nomakhaya Ntozini said: “We were welcomed badly there with sticks and knobkerries. We can see the challenges are not over.”

Ntozini said they had also gone to have a prayer meeting in an attempt to calm tensions.

Resident Thembikosi Mthembu Ndleleni said: “Faku … should have come here with the mayor and councillor.”

Ndleleni claimed that yesterday he saw “what looked like a bomb” near his house. He said he assumed this act was to intimidate him.

Faku refused to comment on the incident except to say he did not want to “get involved in the negativity”.

Mpho Mtila, whose shack was burnt down, said her family were offered a temporary structure to be set up in NU29 but she did not agree to this.

“We didn’t agree to having a temporary structure there because the tensions are still high and they showed us today that there is still … [no] peace.”

Another Motherwell resident, Zusakhe Vumenjani, also said the atmosphere in NU29 was still quite tense: “If they put up a structure there, we will die.”

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