COGTA MEC condemns torching of Port St Johns mayor’s house

COGTA MEC in the Eastern Cape, Zolile Williams.

Last week, the home of the Mayor of Port St. Johns was set on fire by an unidentified arsonist in the middle of the night. A week ago, a councillor of Ingquza Hill Local Municipality was shot dead in his home along with his son. The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in the Eastern Cape, Zolile Williams condemns the current wave of violence in the Ingquza Hill and Port St. Johns Municipalities.

In a statement, the MEC confirms receipt of the letter sent by the mayor of the Port St. Johns Local Municipality regarding demands of a group of people calling themselves the Port St. Johns Community Forum.

The COGTA MEC further says in the statement no outrage justifies burning down the mayor’s house. Prior to this unfortunate incident, the mayor received death threats from unknown individuals who wanted local residents to be appointed to leadership positions or else she resigns as mayor.

In the meantime, the MEC has been in contact with the South African Police Service (SAPS) Regional Commissioner to follow up on the situation in the Port St. Johns and Ingquza Hill Municipalities.

The Ingquza Hill incident happened last month, the councillor, Fundisile Ranayi and his 18-year-old son, Siyolise Ranayi got shot by two unknown armed men at their home in Slovo Park, Lusikisiki. The councillor’s 8-year-old daughter escaped unharmed. Fundisile passed away in hospital after sustaining serious wounds while his son died on the scene of the crime. The gunmen are still at large but an investigation is underway.

The MEC hopes to end the violence through discussions. Violence is no substitute for constructive engagement.