Fawzia Peer Picture: DOC/GCIS
Durban - Acting eThekwini Mayor Fawzia Peer noticed something fishy about the water bottle she opened after lunch at the full council meeting she attended at City Hall this week and believes she may have been poisoned.

“It was easy to open,” she said. “Normally, I cannot open the bottles.”

Peer said she usually handed them to someone else to open for her.

Before lunch, she drank water from another bottle that someone had to open for her, but that bottle had been replaced during the break, she said.

“The camera footage will be interesting.”

Peer said she had not laid a charge with the police because she first wanted to know the results of the tests on the contents of the bottle.

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions. It’s possible that it may have been old water.”

However, she added that these were “trying times”.

“It can happen to anyone. It’s quite dangerous. I drink water from council all the time. I must get smarter and not drink water anywhere.”

Peer said yesterday afternoon she was “Okay, but not 100%”.

She congratulated the team that treated her at City Hospital.

She was rushed there on Thursday after complaigning about mouth and throat burns after drinking the water.

“If I didn’t go immediately, there could have been complications. Also, I am grateful that the doctors were very quick to attend to me.”

Peer spent Thursday night in the intensive care unit.

Her office confirmed that she attended a meeting at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre yesterday morning.

She said she would attend a public meeting today and was determined not to be frightened.

It is believed that if a substance was added to her water, it could have been paraffin.

Peer, the deputy mayor, took over as acting mayor after the suspension of mayor Zandile Gumede, who faces charges of corruption and is out on a R50000 bail.

Gumede remained in her position after appearing in court and delivered the city’s budget.

She was suspended in the middle of this month when the ANC provincial executive ordered her to take a 30-day leave of absence.

The Independent on Saturday