NGWELEZANE residents watched in disbelief as a local Induna pulled a gun on the driver of an uMhlathuze Municipality front-end loader busy demolishing two illegal houses last week.
The Induna demanded that the demolition work be halted and ordered municipal officials, police and security personnel to leave the scene before police wrestled him to the ground to remove his firearm.
According to municipality spokesperson Mduduzi Ncalane, the residents of the houses – who were not at home at the time of the demolition – had been warned about building on municipal land as soon as they began clearing the land.
‘Two months ago the municipality was alerted of the illegal buildings being constructed on municipal land next to the Ngwelezane satellite police station.
‘The municipality management then went to the area and told the people doing the construction work they were building illegally on land not zoned for residential purposes,’ Ncalane said.
‘As construction continued, the municipality then laid charges at the Durban High Court to stop the building.’
Ncalane showed the Zululand Observer the written court interdicts issued in English and Zulu.
Events came to a head on Thursday when municipal officials, traffic officers, police and municipal security officers went to the sites for the demolition of the two structures.
While this was going on, Induna MH Zungu of the Madlebe Traditional Authority arrived and tried to intervene.
He wanted to know who authorized the action and demanded to see the authorization papers.
Municipality officials present tried to calm the Induna down, but he became even more aggressive.
The situation nearly escalated into chaos when the Induna drew his gun, threatened the front-end loader driver and ordered everyone to leave.
Police officers reacted and wrestled him to the ground to restrain him.
His firearm was removed and he was taken to the nearby Ngwelezane police station where, according to police, he consistently denied having pointed his gun at anybody.
He was arrested and taken to the Empangeni Police Station where he was charged with attempted murder, pointing of a firearm, obstructing the free flow of traffic, intimidation and defeating the ends of justice.
According to Empangeni SAPS spokesperson Capt Mbongeni Mdlalose, Zungu was released on bail last Friday.
He will again appear in the Ngwelezane Magistrates’ Court on 30 May.