BCM chair fears threats on her life are over report

Call for protection after home was attacked

Buffalo City Metro municipal public accounts committee chair Zameka Kodwa-Gajula fears for her life amid “threats” from unknown men believed to be hunting her down.
The ANC ward 24 councillor told the Daily Dispatch on Friday that she had reported the matter to the East London and Mdantsane police.
Police spokesperson Captain Nkosikho Mzuku confirmed they were investigating the complaint.
Kodwa-Gajula said she started receiving threats after an attempted break-in at the MPAC (municipal public accounts committees) offices in November 2018.
“There are unknown and unidentified men hunting me down and constantly visiting my home in the evenings looking for me and refusing to say who they are and what they want,” she said.
“They drive in unidentified vehicles but I have been lucky that every time they come over I’m not home.
“They intimidate my children once they don’t find me home.” Her home was petrol-bombed in July.
Kodwa-Gajula believes the latest threats are in connection with a damning MPAC report that has yet to be tabled in council.
The committee probed a deviation that saw auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo paid R175,000 to review the metro’s annual stock-take without the approval of the supply chain directorate.
“The report has been met with a number of challenges and obstacles. It calls for a forensic investigation as a number of things were done wrong in that deviation,” she said.
“Even now, I asked the speaker [Alfred Mtsi] to table the report this month but he refused and said let’s wait for legal opinion in March,” she said.
The MPAC report points a finger at a number of senior officials including city manager Andile Sihlahla.
Although not yet tabled, there is an objection to it from an implicated former BCM official, Mesuli Mlandu, who has filed a complaint with the public protector, saying the MPAC ignored some evidence when compiling the report.
After the petrol bomb incident, Kodwa-Gajula said she was asked by her in-laws to move out of her family home in Mbekweni.
“I don’t have a place to live now. I have moved out and sleep wherever I can as I am scared these men might find me and kill me. These men have clashed with law enforcement officers at my home,” she said.
“They forced their way in and only left when the officers threatened to shoot them. The last incident took place on Tuesday [last week] in Ndevana, where my children are.
“Every time something happens I report to the police and the council speaker but nothing is done. I requested personal protection from BCM but still nothing.”
She says she will not back down from doing her job.
Mzuku said a security assessment was being done.
“It is in the process of being finalised and [after that] an official meeting will be scheduled between the councillor and her principals,” Mzuku said.
“This is a very sensitive matter that cannot be discussed on the media platform.
“There are no arrests so far. All the cases reported previously are still under the investigation.”
Mtsi said law enforcement officers had been dispatched to Kodwa-Gajula’s home but she had since moved out.
“ She then requested personal protection but that process is being handled by the SAPS – and we are waiting for a response before the municipality can take any action.”
Mtsi said the MPAC report could not be tabled as legal opinion was still needed following Mlandu’s application to the public protector...

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