‘ANC failed to protect Ward 55 councillor Mzuvukile Boti’
The ANC in Ward 55 failed to protect councillor Mzuvukile Boti who died last week.
As a result, Boti, 35, died a scarred man, despite his efforts to develop the ward.
These were the views of businessman and Motherwell cluster chair Themba Maseti at the memorial service for Boti held in Motherwell on Tuesday.
Maseti described Boti as a hero and ward councillor who championed issues in his ward.
Boti died at Livingstone hospital on Monday last week after a short illness.
His death followed two incidents where his office was torched by residents during protests.
In July, The Herald reported that Boti’s home in Motherwell had been torched and his office was set alight by angry residents in June 2018.
At the time, Boti said he feared for his safety and that of his family.
Maseti said residents and the ANC in the ward had failed to protect Boti.
“Boti is scarred as a result of the ANC. I would like to apologise to him on behalf of residents in this ward,” Maseti said.
“We came for [Boti] and accused [him] of squandering money meant for the ward when there was nothing of the sort. And for that I apologise,” Maseti said.
He said the ANC would retain Ward 55 after a by-election.
He urged residents to protect the councillor who won the by-election.
“Ward 55 will be ruled by the ANC again and we must protect that councillor.
“We didn’t protect [Boti] and I apologise for that," Maseti said.
Last week, the ANC in the metro described Boti as a disciplined councillor.
Similar remarks were made at the memorial service in Motherwell.
Nelson Mandela Bay council chief whip Bicks Ndoni said Boti had been harassed and interrogated while serving the ward.
“It saddens me to confirm that Boti lived a difficult life. And he fought to raise the allocation for the ward during the budgeting process,” he said.
“The issues in the ward and minimal budget put councillor Boti under stress and he was vocal in council. This was a councillor who did his job.
“This comrade was not a happy person and he was stressed most of the time, but he was willing to go back and serve people.”
Ndoni said he was happy to see supporters of other parties at the memorial.
“The presence of other parties is proof that councillor Boti was everyone’s ward councillor.”
Councillors from the DA, the EFF and the ANC attended the service, as well as supporters from these parties and the South African Revolutionary Workers party and the UDM.
A civic funeral for Boti will be held by the city.
The family will have a small service at the home in Mnenge Street, Motherwell, at 8.30am on Saturday before the service moves to the Motherwell NU29 community hall.