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Claims that former Umgeni deputy mayor got death threats after defecting to DA a day before elections

The DA’s mayoral candidate for uMngeni Municipality, Chris Pappas, with uMngeni Municipality’s deputy mayor Nompumelelo Buthelezi, who joined the party from the ANC. Picture: Screengrab from video DA KZN Twitter

The DA’s mayoral candidate for uMngeni Municipality, Chris Pappas, with uMngeni Municipality’s deputy mayor Nompumelelo Buthelezi, who joined the party from the ANC. Picture: Screengrab from video DA KZN Twitter

Published Nov 4, 2021

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Durban - The DA in uMngeni local municipality says that it is concerned about the safety of the former deputy mayor of the council who left the ANC and joined the DA on the eve of Monday’s local government amidst claims that she had received death threats.

In an unexpected move, Nompumelelo Buthelezi who had formed part of the uMngeni local municipality as deputy mayor from 2016 until her move to the DA on Sunday, left the ANC in favour of the DA.

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Speaking to Independent Media at the DA’s Victory Rally at the Goddard Park at Howick Falls, Buthelezi said her efforts to expose PPE corruption had compounded her already dire situation as she claims to have started receiving death threats as far back as 2018.

She is currently being protected by private security that the DA has organised for her temporarily while the party makes efforts to ensure that she has permanent security in the future.

Buthelezi said that she had been informed she was a target.

“I am worried about my safety because there were death threats previously which emanated from ward 2 in Howick. I’m worried because there are so many negative comments on Facebook and other social media where people are complaining that I left the ANC because I wanted to enrich myself,” Buthelezi said.

She said that with the DA’s votes having increased in the area, accusations include that her move to the DA had swung ANC voters in the DA’s direction, particularly in her ward, where she says she heard people had voted in their numbers for the DA.

Buthelezi said that the safety of the municipality’s new mayoral elect Christopher Pappas was also important, as he and the DA had taken over an ANC led municipality and that this would be a cause for worry.

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Buthelezi was thanked by the DA’s Dean Macpherson for joining the party, despite all the threats she had received, with the latter saying her move to showed that she had incredible courage.

Macpherson said that the party would be carrying out a number of security assessments in relation to Buthelezi’s safety and that this would also apply particularly around Pappas as the mayor elect and certain councillors.

He said that the security of the councillors was a top priority, particularly given the violence that had played out in the province over the few weeks which saw several politically motivated killings.

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“It’s not something we are going to tolerate, we want to establish law and order in this municipality. It’s top of our agenda and that’s why I’m here and basing myself here now and I am going to be leading those discussions with the mayor elect and officials in the municipality to make sure that we establish law and order and that there are no threats.

“We have seen this move before in the change of other governments and we obviously want other political parties and their supporters to behave responsibly. We’re also going to be meeting with the acting municipal manager to discuss a few issues including security because we are a party of law and order and we don’t want to see chaos erupt across this municipality,” Macpherson said.

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