ANC councillor who was sent threatening messages fears for his life
Kouga municipality councillor Phumzile Oliphant says he fears for his life after receiving death threats.
This, he said, was after he had raised allegations of nepotism against the DA.
Oliphant, an ANC councillor, said he had received threats last week when he went on a national radio station and spoke out on alleged corruption in the municipality.
He says he received messages saying he was putting his and the lives of his family at risk.
The messages, which the Weekend Post has seen, read: “You are putting yourself and your family in (sic) risk by fighting with us. You have a big mouth and that is going to make us shut it for good Mr Light fibre!!!”
Another read: “We have been listening to your radio interviews if you do not stop we are coming for you.”
Oliphant accused council speaker Hattingh Bornman of dragging his feet in ensuring his safety.
“The speaker of council is the custodian of councillors and ensuring the welfare of councillors’ safety rests with him.
“As we speak I can’t leave my house by myself and need to ensure that someone always accompanies me when travelling because I don’t know who these messages are from.
“Anyone can walk into my yard and shoot me because I don’t have the protection needed,” he said.
“Would the speaker have acted as slowly as he has, had the threats been made against members of his own party? I don’t think so.”
However, municipal spokesperson Laura-Leigh Randall said Bornman had been told about the alleged threat against Oliphant by the police last week, who confirmed they were assessing the threat.
“The speaker has not yet received the assessment,” she said.
“He can only determine what action to take once this has been received and there is clarity as to whether the threats were made against councillor Oliphant in his personal capacity or in his capacity as a councillor.
“There is a process that is followed when threats are made against a councillor — a threat risk assessment is requested from SAPS so that the appropriate action can be determined.
“This process is the same for all councillors regardless of their political affiliation.”
An e-mail written by Lieut-Col Makhoasa Kiviet addressed to Bornman confirmed a risk assessment had been done for Oliphant.
In the e-mail, seen by the Weekend Post, Kiviet tells Bornman that the police will conduct vehicle patrols near Oliphant’s premises,, but no officers will be posted at the premises permanently because of limited resources.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Majola Nkohli said: “The matter is under investigation and is receiving the necessary attention.”
Previously, Oliphant had accused Kouga mayor Horatio Hendricks of using state funds to profile the DA by hosting a two-day public safety summit in September.
Two of the main speakers at the summit were Western Cape premier Alan Winde and Eastern Cape DA MPL Bobby Stevenson.
The most recent accusation was that Hendricks had facilitated the appointment of a close friend within the municipality without following due process or the position being advertised.
In a letter, seen by the Weekend Post, Kouga municipal manager Charl du Plessis wrote to Oliphant that there had been no political interference following the appointment of the official.
He wrote “I decided to deviate from the standard practice only due to the urgent nature of the appointment”.
The official was appointed on a fixed 12-month contract, effective from October 1.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.