Newly elected ACDP Councillor, Sipho Xazana, has reported being threatened, intimidated and assaulted by ANC members.
Sipho Xazana, who has been elected as the ACDP representative for Khayelitsha, has reported that at the first leadership meeting he had been threatened to vote for the ANC candidate for mayor. He received both verbal and visual intimidations, including someone in the Council Chamber gallery drawing a finger across his own throat while looking at Sipho. Various ANC members threatened Sipho that they would kill him if he failed to vote for their candidate.
After the opposition Democratic Alliance candidate, Helen Zille, was elected executive mayor, Sipho and three other councillors reported being intimidated by ANC members. A DA representative reported that several city councillors had been “attacked, intimidated and threatened for aligning themselves with the DA’s multi party governing alliance.”
Twenty two year old, Sipho Xazana reported that a senior ANC party member had attempted to run him over (twice) with a Mercedes Benz. He reported that the threats had started in the Wednesday Council meeting, when a man had threatened that his throat would be slit for voting for Zille. This was followed by verbal abuse on Saturday afternoon, during a meeting with the Deputy Mayor, Andrew Arnolds. A policewoman, who is known to be an outspoken ANC supporter, started hurling abuse at them for voting for “a white mayor.”
“Later when I was talking to my pastor at his car, a man tried to drive over me. When he missed, he reversed and tried to run over me again, his mirror hit me and I fell down. The mirror broke off.” Sipho said that the man had come back for the mirror and pushed him around, declaring: “I don’t care if you are on the ACDP. You sold us out to the white people!”
Before joining the ACDP, Sipho worked in the Frontline Fellowship Mission, and as a church worker in Khayelitsha. Now, he says that he lives in fear of his life and has to wear a bulletproof vest whenever he leaves his home.
Another Councillor, who did not wish to be named, said that he had received threatening phone calls. Another opposition Councillor reported that his home had been stoned.
Indications are that such threats for black opposition members are widespread and common. What is unusual about this incident is that the town councillor concerned has had the courage to publically report the intimidation and expose this tactic of threatening both voters and elected representatives.
At the same time a controversy in the media over the illegal bugging of opposition members and offices by the National Intelligence Agency continues to make headlines.
For further information, or to send a message of encouragement to Sipho, contact:
ACDP Parliamentary Media Liaison
Tel: 021-403 3307
Cell: 082 376 6433