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Mayor’s bodyguards shoot three people amid water protests in Newcastle

In this picture, mayor Xolani Dube sits as a media briefing and listens to opinons made. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Newcastle mayor Xolani Dube. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Published May 17, 2023


Newcastle - Bodyguards of the IFP Mayor of Newcastle, Xolani Dube, have allegedly shot three community members of the protests-prone Charlestown settlement.

It was alleged that the members got rowdy when Dube came to address them, following a violent service delivery protest, and the bodyguards opened fire.

Those shot and injured were rushed to Madadeni hospital just outside town.

According to a report (voice note) sent to the leadership of the ANC in the Mbuso Kubheka region (Amajuba district) by ward 1 councillor, Ntombincane Shabalala (ANC councillor in the ward), there was a protest over water supply.

The community of Charlestown settlement then demanded an audience with Dube and the meeting got heated and they allegedly threw stones at him, pitting themselves against the heavily-armed bodyguards.

“As ward 1 we have been having water challenges for three weeks after the transformer at the borehole caught fire.

“People were being supplied with water through water tankers that used to come once a week and people were not happy since Charlestown is a huge area and two water trucks were not making any difference.

“So people protested on Sunday night and blocked the road, they also blocked the road last night (Tuesday) night and burnt down four trucks.

“They then demanded an audience with the municipality and the municipality sent the PPU which the people chased away.

“After that, Dube and DM Shukela (deputy mayor Musa “Shukela” Thwala) and the MM (Municipal Manager).

“They came and people started fighting with Dube accusing him of telling them lies and hurled stones at him,” Shabalala said in the voice note.

She said what troubled her was that Dube’s bodyguards opened fire and injured three children in the settlement.

“What has left me troubled is that Dube’s body (guards) opened fire and shot three children of Charlestown.

“One of them was terribly shot in the stomach and they were rushed to Madadeni hospital and we don’t know what is going to happen to them.

“I was away on a workshop with the district municipality and I am yet going to assess the full situation, but I felt that I should give you this report,” Shabalala added.

The municipality told IOL that it can't comment since the matter is now being investigated by the police.

“In view of SAPS being the authorised investigation body of the state in the matter and the fact that the matter is still under investigation, there's no comment from the municipality as we are awaiting outcomes from the SAPS.

“Until the investigation is finalised, any further comments on this matter will jeopardise the investigation,” the municipality said in a brief statement sent to IOL.

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