An ANC supporter holds a flag of the ANC. File Picture: Phill Magakoe
An ANC supporter holds a flag of the ANC. File Picture: Phill Magakoe

Outgoing KwaMashu councillor describes hit attempt and why she is still alive

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Nov 8, 2021

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DURBAN - THE outgoing ANC councillor in KwaMashu’s ward 40 is living in fear after narrowly escaping an assassination attempt days before her term ends.

Councillor Mamane Xulu said yesterday that she was alive thanks to her metro police protection detail who managed to hold off three men who had tried to force their way into her office on Friday. She is not returning to the council and her term is likely to officially end today.

The attack on Xulu comes after at least three fatal attacks on candidate councillors across parties in the run-up to the local government elections last week.

EThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda recently revealed that the municipality spent R70 million in a matter of months on protection for councillors.

A report tabled before an eThekwini council meeting recently revealed that many councillors were being protected because they were being threatened.

In an interview with The Mercury yesterday, Xulu said her office came under attack from three suspected hit men. There was shoot-out between the “hit squad” and her protectors.

The police said during the shoot-out, one of the suspects was fatally wounded while one of the security officials was injured and taken to hospital. The two remaining suspects fled, taking a firearm from one of the security officials with them. KwaMashu police are investigating cases of attempted murder and armed robbery.

Xulu said: “Even now, my body still shakes and it’s clear that this incident traumatised me. If I hear any banging noise, my body shakes,” she said.

Xulu said she subsequently learnt that the people who attacked her office had been monitoring it.

“I was told that these people had been seen outside my office for at least three days prior to Friday. Previously, they never got out of the car which makes it clear they were just monitoring the office.”

She said that on Friday, the men “approached the office pretending to be drunk and requested to see me. At that moment I was busy assisting someone else in my office”.

She said because of Covid-19 regulations, a lot of people are not allowed to be in the office at the same time.

“These men were told to wait outside. They tried to force their way in but they were stopped by one of my protectors from the metro police.

“A scuffle broke out and all I heard after that was the sound of gunfire. There must have been at least 15 bullets that were fired. At that point I was crouched underneath my desk and I had nowhere to go,” she said.

She said the shooting had attracted community members who rushed to her office and they caught one of the attackers.

Xulu said that in the past five years she had received several threats which led to her being provided with security

“Three months into the job, people demonstrated outside my house, burning mattresses and throwing rocks at my house demanding electricity. They did not have electricity before I took office and I worked to make sure they had electricity,” she said.

She said she also faced protests from ANC members.

“For three months I could not work and I was eventually given protection.

“This entire term has been a nightmare. I want absolutely nothing further to do with this job. I would rather eat from the rubbish bin than to do this job. I am an older woman, yet there are young people out there who are chasing me, wanting to kill me,” she said.

“My protection will be taken away and I have therefore resigned myself to the fact that anything is going to happen to me. I am even contemplating leaving my house,” she said.

Attempts to reach the ANC eThekwini regional office were unsuccessful.

THE MERCURY

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