While national figures on rhino poaching went down in 2018 it increased in Mpumalanga, according to the deaprtment of environmental affairs.
The man says he had a brawl with the SANCO strongman and then found himself being kicked and hit with chairs by four men he sent afterwards.
An employee working for one of Patrice Motsepe’s sub-contractors at the Nkomati Mine between Badplaas and Machadodorp in Mpumalanga has told 013NEWS that the provincial executive committee member of the South African National Civic Organisation sent people to come assault him.
The incident happened last week Monday at the Nkomati Mine-controlled Sinethemba community centre in Badplaas.
Doctor Thela said the man were sent by Doctor Mwale, who works as a Nkomati Mine head of community development.
Mwale is also a powerful figure of the South African National Civic Organisation in Mpumalanga while Thela is employed by Aveng Moolmans, a sub-contractor at the nickel mine, as a cleaner at the Badplaas community centre.
Thela said he refused for weeks to take instructions from Mwale “because I don’t work for Nkomati but for Moolmans and I cannot take instructions from Nkomazi”.
He said he had actually been employed by Moolmans to clean the offices at the Sinethemba community centre but then Mwale, who works for Nkomati, came and instructed him “in a way that undermined me and showed he had powers over everyone”.
“I refused. I told him I won’t do that. I report to Moolmans, not him,” Thela told the 013NEWS reporter.
“Last week Monday at around 12 he came and told me that I don’t listen and said if I don’t want to work I must say. He threatened he had the power to fire me if I don’t want to work and we started arguing and I was very angry, I almost assaulted him,” Thela said.
013NEWS understands that Thela grabbed Mwale by the clothes during this argument and threatened to hit him with an object he picked up afterwards on ground.
Thela told the 013NEWS reporter that Mwale then left and six men allegedly then arrived, of which four entered the premises and assaulted him.
He said he was treated by a doctor at Nhlazatshe near Badplaas and has been given three days off work to heal following the incident.
Mwale didn’t respond to texts sent on his cellphone on Thursday last week nor answer 013NEWS’ phone calls.
In a reply to an e-mail sent by Thela’s family lodging a complaint against Mwale, Nkomati Mine general manager Bertina Symonds promised to investigate the matter.
She wrote: “A full scale investigation into this matter has been actioned. All parties directly involved will be interviewed”.
Symonds confirmed to 013NEWS on Monday this week that Thela’s case was received but then asked that all questions be e-mailed.
Mwale, a shrewd SANCO PEC member and former school principal, is believed to be one of the most powerful and resourced SANCO leaders in the Mpumalanga province.
In the e-mail to Symonds, one of Thela’s brothers, Jabulani Thela, said: “This matter has caused a lot of grieve and pain to the family, because it’s a pure evidence that Mr Mwale he does as he pleases because is of the notion that he is untouchable”.
(edited by ZK)
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