Nelson Mandela Bay councillors threatened ahead of budget vote
Pass the budget, or else.
This was the threatening message given to at least four Nelson Mandela Bay councillors on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's council meeting to debate the 2019/20 budget.
The lives of councillors as well as their families were threatened.
PA councillor Marlon Daniels, United Front councillor Mkhuseli Mtsila and AIC councillor as well as Bay deputy mayor Thsonono Buyeye all received threatening calls in the late hours of Tuesday while COPE councillor Siyasanga Sijadu received a visit from four unknown men.
Taking to Facebook after the incident, Sijadu wrote: "Just received a threat from 4 guys who claim they have been sent by SMMEs. They want me to vote for the budget tomorrow if I love my family".
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday morning Daniels wrote: "Telling me that I will see what is going to happen to me and my family if I don't vote in favour of the budget in Council today.Well,...I am also ready to return the favour.I shall too make an example of 1 Councillor. I will send you to Hell 4sure.A touch is a move".
Telling me that I will see what is going to happen to me and my family if I don't vote in favour of the budget in Council today.— Marlon Daniels (@ZicoJD) June 19, 2019
Well,...I am also ready to return the favour.
I shall too make an example of 1 Councillor.
I will send you to Hell 4sure.
A touch is a move.
Speaking on the phone on Wednesday morning, Daniels confirmed the incident and said he received a call from someone telling him he had to support the the budget.
"There's been a lot of meetings leading up to today regarding who's supporting the budget and who's not. I've made it very clear that I've had enough of [Bay mayor Mongameli] Bobani.
"In fact, I'm not even going to come to council with an agenda because those who are responsible will be carrying agendas.
"This is not something I take lightly because they threatened my family and I'm going to bring it up in council. It's the only reason I'm going there today," Daniels said.
Buyeye confirmed he received a call too. He said he questioned the caller as to why he was being threatened when he supported the budget in council.
"I've got a case number. I opened a case at the Kwazakhele police station," Buyeye said.
The UF's Mtsila said the person on the phone threatened to kill him if he did not vote in favor of the budget.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that Daniels opened a criminal case of intimidation on Tuesday night.
“Gelvandale detectives are investigating the case and are following up leads,” she said.
Wednesday will be the fourth attempt by councillors at trying to pass the budget.
Previously, the UF, AIC, UDM and the EFF had supported the budget but the ANC, DA, Cope and ACDP did not.- Additional reporting by Gareth Wilson