I will not step down because of family problems, embattled mayor Mehlomakhulu says
Troubled Alfred Nzo district mayor Sixolile Mehlomakhulu says he will not relinquish the mayoral chain because of family squabbles, and his personal life does is separate from his work.
The ANC regional chair on Tuesday told the Daily Dispatch he was the one who had been attacked in videos that went viral last week — which he says were manipulated and “malicious”.
Mehlomakhulu was reacting to calls by the EFF in Alfred Nzo which reiterated demands for the mayor to be axed after the release of the videos.
“No one has called and told me I should step down. I cannot understand the call because this does not involve government. Nothing happened to the municipality and the ANC, it’s just that I was attacked by my family and there’s a case that has been opened.
“Some of my sisters are ngabahloli [education development officer] and nurses. I think they are at work right now, so how would our family issue be used at their workplaces? This remains a family issue.
“How would it be fair that if anyone is attacked in their home the opposition then demands that they resign?
“We are in a country of law. I was never arrested.”
Mehlomakhulu said the videos that circulated on social media were manipulated to smear him.
The videos were secretly recorded by his family during what they previously said was during a violent six-day spree by the top ANC official in the region. The police confirmed a complaint of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) had been filed with them.
In a 23-second video clip, Mehlomakhulu is apparently attempting to assault a man with a stick while relatives try to break up the fight.
Other clips show him walking up and down at the family home saying everything in the house — from wardrobes and cupboards to electrical appliances and even the ceiling — belong to him.
On Tuesday, he said he had filed a counter complaint against his relatives.
“They were attacking me, not the other way around. These are the same people who have been plotting against me for a while.
“From the videos you can see there were people carrying bottle kop. My life there was in danger. I was attacked at home. I haven’t seen any video where I assaulted someone.
“All I did was to disarm them and take the sticks they had. If you look at the videos I was provoked but I could not react to the provocation,” he said.
Provincial police spokesperson Captain Khaya Tonjeni confirmed Mehlomakhulu filed a complaint of GBH on January 6.
“No one has been arrested yet. Investigations continue,” he said.
Referring to the possession of an illegal firearm charge that was dismissed against him and the court refusing to make an interim protection order permanent that had been brought by his mother against him, Mehlomakhulu, said his family had resorted to violence when “all the attempts to smear me failed”.
While the ANC previously met with the feuding family members and failed to broker peace, Mehlomakhulu said he was willing to mend the broken relationship with his siblings, and he was trying to get community elders and traditional leaders to intervene.
“This affects the family as a whole. I am willing to have peace between us because at the end of the day we are one family,” he said.
Last week, ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi said they would meet with Mehlomakhulu this week to discuss the matter. On Tuesday he said they had not yet done so.