More than 300 residents from Zwelitsha Informal Settlement and Kuyasa marched to the Harare Police Station on Friday last week Friday to demand a protection order to prevent ANC Youth League regional treasurer Andile Lili from entering their areas.
The move came about following a community meeting over the electrification of Zwelitsha the previous day (March 24) at which seven ANCYL members, including Lili, who is treasurer for the Dullah Omar region, and the region’s secretary Mpucuko Nguzo, barged in.
Residents said the ANCYL members, led by Lili, started shouting at the approximately 100 people attending the meeting, demanding to know why the were not attending an ANC meeting supporting Nguzo as ward councillor candidate in the upcoming local government elections.
When residents shouted back that they should leave, the ANCYL members allegedly stepped outside, picked up rocks and proceeded to throw then into the crowd, injuring two people.
Zwelitsha resident Nomthandazo Mkhontwana, 33, said: “We had a community meeting yesterday discussing the electricity issue. ANC Youth League members wearing ANC T-shirts came in to our meeting. They started to shout at people, asking why we had a meeting at same time as them and saying that we would not get electricity.”
Khayalethu Mbengo, from Zwelitsha, said he was hit by a rock thrown by Lili.
“He hit me on a head and I was bleeding. Lili kept on smilling, saying I’m being fooled by the UDM.”
He said police appeared to side with the ANCYL. “I can’t open a case against him. I don’t have the strength for that.”
Zwelitsha residents’ committee chairperson Mzukisi Ntlonza said the ANCYL seemed to want to prevent service delivery in the area.
He confirmed that two residents had been hit by rocks.
“We want a protection order against Lili. We’re tired of their political issues. We want service delivery.”
Lili, who is chairperson of the Harare Community Policing Forum, was at the police station when the residents demanded he be prevented from entering their residential area.
He came out laughing, and addressed the crowd.
“I love you all. When you decide to come back to the party I will welcome you. I promise to get you electricity.”
Asked about accusations on the ANCYL preventing service delivery, and about the attack on people at the community meeting, he said the meeting on Thursday was not a community meeting but a meeting organised by the United Democratic Movement (UDM).
Despite numerous eyewitness accounts to the contrary, he denied arriving at Thursday’s meeting and throwing rocks.
“These people are being used by UDM members. They went from being ANC to UDM now they want our party to look bad, using my people. We had an ANC meeting that day for upcoming local elections. I never went to their meeting. Maybe some of our members did but I was not part of it.”
Harare police station spokesperson Nosiphiwo Mntegwane said residents from Zwelitsha and Kuyasa marched to the station on Friday demanding a protection order against Lili.
“We could not give them a protection order, they must go to court,” she said. – Nombulelo Damba, West Cape News