CPF chief charged with intimidation
Pretoria - A crowd of supporters filled court B in the Atteridgeville Magistrate’s Court on Thursday as the leader of the Stimamollo community policing forum, Jack Phahlane, appeared on charges of intimidation and malicious damage to property.
It is alleged that he forcefully removed 54 owners from their RDP homes. He was arrested on May 12 and released on bail of R500 two days later.
State prosecutor Silas Nobela said as representations made by Phahlane’s legal representative had been unsuccessful, they had decided to proceed with the trial.
Members of the community filled the court room to capacity, with some standing, huddled in corners, to listen to the fate of someone they regard as a hero.
Community member Emily Matsha, 67, said she had been waiting for an RDP home since 1996.
She said she was going to continue supporting Phahlane as he was willing to expose the corruption in the allocation of houses in their community.
“He is the only one willing to stand up and do something against the corruption of councillors and the housing department. People have died with aching hearts still waiting to be given RDP houses, so action is needed,” said Matsha.
Isaac Mabuza, 50, said he was certain that without help from the likes of Phahlane, he would never walk into his own home anytime soon as he had applied as long ago as 2002.
“Can you imagine if people who applied as far back as 1996 haven’t gotten their homes, what chance do the rest of us stand?
“He (Phahlane) gave us the green light to fight for what is rightfully ours by finding out the truth about the department, councillors and the police,” said Mabuza.
“The reason why they have arrested him is because he has information about their shady dealings. But we all know the truth is that if you don’t have money to pay someone you will never get a house even if it is yours,” he said.
Mabuza said their support was unwavering because Phahlane had not asked for money from anyone nor was he in need of an RDP house himself.
Addressing the crowd after his appearance, Phahlane thanked the community for their support and said he would not be intimidated by officials who came to his place of work wanting to talk to him.
“The government told us to inform it if we see any wrong-doing and that is exactly what we are doing. I will not be intimidated by these people; we will go forward and get people their houses they deserve,” said Phahlane.
The matter was postponed to August 27.