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Official accuses mayor of assault

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Police confirms that two cases of common and assault GBH has been opened

INJURED: A political liaison officer in the Office of the Mayor, Cameron Meyer, has laid charges of assault against the Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, and his bodyguard following an altercation at the Sol Plaatje municipal offices. Picture: Danie van der Lith

A POLITICAL liaison officer in the Office of the Mayor has laid charges of assault against the executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, and his bodyguard following an altercation at the Sol Plaatje municipal offices on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi, confirmed yesterday that two cases of assault common and assault GBH were opened after both parties involved in the altercation filed complaints against each other.

“No one has been arrested and the police investigation continues,” said Mooi.

The complainant, Cameron Meyer, who is also the ANC branch chairperson for Ward 19, claimed that he was slapped through the face, choked and poked in the eye by the mayor’s driver/bodyguard.

“The mayor and the bodyguard walked into my office and we became involved in an argument over my shack, which they said had been erected illegally. I tried to be respectful as he (the mayor) is my superior, and I asked him why I was the only one being targeted,” said Meyer.

He explained that his home was one of 14 shacks that had been earmarked for demolition in Phutanang.

“There are thousands of illegal shanties that have been erected all over the city and yet mine was the only one that was torn down … I have been left homeless. I asked for reasons to be given as to why only my shack should be destroyed. I was threatened that all hell would break loose if I did not dismantle my shanty.

“I told them not to bully me, then they assaulted me. They tried to shut the door so that no one could see what was going on inside the office. I managed to make my way into the corridor so that people would witness the attack. There was an official who was sitting in my office when the assault took place.”

Meyer added that the bodyguard had grabbed him around his neck with his arm and refused to ease his grip. “I told him to leave me. The bodyguard also pushed his finger into my eye, which became swollen, red and painful. There is a red mark on my neck where I was choked. I feel that my safety has been compromised at my workplace.”

He stated that his shack had been torn down upon instruction from council. “All my belongings were taken to the warehouse for storage. Where will I sleep?”

Meyer indicated that he had moved to the area about three months ago.

“I put my name on the housing list in 2009 and have submitted all the documents. I was previously staying with my mother.”

He said that he had received a letter last week Friday advising him to vacate his dwelling by July 19 (Wednesday). “No eviction orders were issued.”

While posts on social media were awash with speculation that municipal officials who did not support Matika to be elected as the incoming ANC regional chairperson were being purged, Meyer was not convinced that this was the sole reason for the alleged attack. “It could be politically motivated as we support different views,” he said.

Several ANC members condemned the behaviour of “power mongers”, who were abusing their right of office by ill-treating members who were not aligned to the right faction, while other ANC members slammed the malicious intent to spread lies about their candidate for regional chairperson. Spokesperson for the Office of the Mayor, Gregory Seleke, stated that they would investigate the matter.

“We will give a thorough and proper report once the office has investigated the enquiry regarding the incidents,” said Seleke.