DA mayor finds dead animals on his stoep
Cape Town - Western Cape police are investigating a case of intimidation after Saldanha Bay's newly elected mayor found a sheep's head, dead birds and a live tortoise with a red-ribbon tied around it, all wrapped up in blood-soaked linen, on his stoep.
Marius Koen, who was sworn in as the mayor of the town a week ago, said a tiler working at his home made the discovery outside his Langebaan house after being alerted by neighbours.
Koen said the matter was under investigation.
He said he had left home for work through the garage and missed the bloody scene intended for him. He was called home by a neighbour.
"It was an unsettling scene to come home to. The animal's head was wrapped in bloody linen and the tortoise was tied to its horns with the red ribbon tied around its body.
"It was clearly in distress and because it was moving around, it made it appear as if whatever was wrapped inside the cloth was still alive."
Koen said a long knife with a laminated message as well as onions and tomatoes were found inside the bloody package.
"The note clearly stated that those responsible would use voodoo against me; will take everything I have away from me and will destroy my life."
Koen confirmed the municipal manager had subsequently arranged a 24-hour security detail for him, following the incident.
"I did receive cellphone messages and even a threatening call during which the caller threatened to use witchcraft against me, but I never took it seriously. There's always disgruntled people," he said.
Erik Marais, the DA's West region chairman, said they viewed the incident in a serious light, particularly following the apparent political murder of another DA mayoral candidate in Danielskuil near Kimberley last week.
"It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our public representatives," Marais said. He said the DA won the Saldanha Bay municipality with an outright majority.
He confirmed he and Koen received strange, threatening messages on their cellphones a week prior to the incident, but did not pay any attention to the messages.
Sources within the party had no doubt the incident was related to the DA's municipal elections victory because the note left on the scene warned they would kill and "toor" (bewitch or use witchcraft against) the new mayor.
DA chairman Anton Bredell said: "It is totally unacceptable what happened.
"People must realise that our democracy is truly about the will of the voters and those disgruntled by the outcomes cannot resort to threatening behaviour and scare tactics because they are unhappy with the results of the elections."
Police on Friday cordoned off the area, while combing the scene for clues.
"A criminal case of intimidation was registered and is currently under investigation by the Langebaan police detective services," Western Cape police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said.
Van Wyk urged anyone with information regarding the case to contact the section head of Detective Services of Langebaan police, Warrant Officer P Lotz at 082 469 6835.