Their councillor was charged with murder. Now Umlazi voters want a by-election

Residents block township road in protest

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Photo of crowd with police officers
Residents of Umlazi blocked roads demanding a by-election in their ward. Photo: Musa Binda

About 100 residents of ward 80, Umlazi, in the south of Durban blocked Sibusiso Mdakane Road with burning tyres on Tuesday, demanding a by-election in their ward.

The residents said they did not want to be represented by Councillor Mthokozisi Nojiyeza who had faced murder charges. Nojiyeza has been a councillor for the ward since the local government elections in 2016. He was arrested with two relatives in December last year.

They were accused of plotting the murder of the eThekwini branch’s secretary Sbusiso Maphumulo who was shot dead outside his home in V Section, Umlazi after attending an ANC meeting in October last year.

They were released on Friday after spending about five months in jail. The Umlazi Magistrates Court found there was insufficient evidence linking them to the case.

One of the protest leaders who asked not to be named said they did not want to be led by someone who had faced a serious charge.

“We are scared of being led by a leader who has been accused of plotting murder of another leader. We understand that the court set him free because there was not sufficient evidence directly linking him to the case. But we are also mindful that the court never said he was innocent so we are demanding a by-election where a clean person will be elected,” said the protest leader.

The leader added that they were planning to ensure that Nojiyeza’s office stayed closed until their demand was met.

Thami Mdluli, a representative from the office of the eThekwini Municipality Mayor, Zandile Gumede, said he would make sure the demand reached the right people within the ANC.

Attempts by GroundUp to reach Nojiyeza were unsuccessful.

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TOPICS:  Elections Politics

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