Mooi-Mpofana: three MK Vets arrested

Three prominent military veterans, including a former mayor, were arrested on Thursday for disrupting services at Mooi-Mpofana municipality. 

Police handcuffed the three military veterans on Thursday after they repeatedly refused to leave the municipal main entrance, which the Mkhonto weSizwe (MK) members took control of. They refused to allow workers to enter.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the three men would appear at the Mooi River Magistrate’s Court on Friday to face charges of intimidation.

Gwala said other MK Vets who took part in the disruption of services at the municipality, had fled on foot.

The former mayor, who cannot be named until he appears in court, was a former mayor in the Midlands town before 2014.

He is also a former exco member of uMgungundlovu District and a former ward councillor in Mooi River.

On Thursday the former members of the ANC military wing, Mkhonto weSizwe, again completely shut down Mooi-Mpofana municipal offices while demanding to be given eight of the 13 technical services posts that were recently advertised by the municipality. They are also demanding that the municipality provide them with sites to build houses.

The military veterans have closed the municipality three times this week after failed negotiations with council leadership. As early as 7 am on Thursday the military veterans were already at the main entrance of the municipality, blocking entry.

The driver training testing ground, a weighbridge and a tourism centre also remained closed on Thursday after the military veterans instructed workers to leave.

Municipal vehicles including those from the electricity section, refuse collection and water and sanitation remained parked as the military veterans demanded that no vehicles leave the property.

Military veterans regional secretary, Menzi Mkhize, has threatened to shut down all seven municipalities in the region if the arrested members are not released.

“It is the first time in my life that I see someone being arrested for job hunting. We were not violent or something. We will render all the municipalities under Moses Mabhida region ungovernable if our members are not released. Clearly we are being undermined here,” he said.

Municipal workers who eventually left without doing any work again on Thursday, complained that work is piling up in their offices, having only been able to work on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mooi-Mpofana mayor Xolani Duma has opened a case of attempted murder after eight bullets were fired at his house on Wednesday night.

Gwala said no one was injured during the shooting.

“No arrest has been made at this stage,” she said.