A Soweto councillor said he is living in fear after his family were attacked because of prolonged power outages in the community.
Mpho Sesedinyane, a councillor for Tladi and Moletsane, said the trouble started last week when the community experienced a series of load reductions and the problems with the substation that supplies power to the area.
Infuriated with the cold temperatures and lack of electricity, the community started blocking roads and marched to the councillor’s house, which was attacked and his sister badly beaten and left with a broken arm.
On top of this, his car was pelted with stones and badly damaged.
Sesedinyane said he told the community that he does not work for Eskom.
Soweto, which has a culture of non-payment, has been experiencing electricity problems and the theft of electrical cables.
“The situation started on Friday because of load reduction. The community was frustrated, they chanted and came to my house and wanted me to address them.
“I told them that I had received communication from Eskom that there was a faulty cable somewhere and they ask the community to give them space to fix the problem. The community said I failed them and they wanted me to attach a signature to a memorandum that I am resigning and I said that’s not going to happen.
“Eskom is not a competency of the City of Joburg”.
Sesedinyane further said that he went as far as taking the community to the substation to show them that there was a real problem with it and had even provided photographs to prove this.
“They arrived at the scene and they saw that a mini-substation burnt. They confirmed that it will take a week to fix, but there was a group that was led by the former councillor that wanted to render the ward ungovernable.”
Sesedinyane said his woes were made worse when some community members stormed an ANC meeting where he was re-elected as a candidate for the branch’s leadership. Police had to fire tear gas to disperse an unruly crowd that was baying for the councillor’s blood.
“They vandalised my house and they stoned my car, and today they came and disrupted a meeting of the ANC. There was enough security and the majority of them were not members of the ANC, and some people were confusing these elections with electricity issues.”
Sesedinyane also said there was a plan to kill him just to ensure that he is no longer councillor of the area. He said there were some members of his own party that were instigating the community against him.
“They broke my sister’s arm because she was recording a video of people trying to burn the house …”
Sesedinyane said his family were taken to a place of safety.
“I am not safe but I will strive on, I will continue to fight. I squat somewhere until I’m safe”.