Briefs: Cannibalism angers community

Pictures of Mrs Mthembu being cooked at Esikhawini ( Richards Bay ) recently shocked television viewers. The Safcol plantation just outside the township was Mr Mathenjwa’s kitchen, a suspected illegal immigrant from Mozambique.After community efforts the suspect was arrested within a few days. On his first appearance in court the community invaded the court, trying to secure his release so they could give him ‘what he deserves’. However, when members of parliament and the councillors called a meeting of the community, they were not prepared for the response. First the meeting was poorly attended. “What will agitate the community of Esikhawini if it can’t be agitated by cannibalism?” asks Bheki Cele, member of the safety portfolio committee of KZN who gave a keynote address. He called on the community to stay calm and challenged them to start fighting crime from within their homes. “These criminals are not UFO’s, they are your sons, cousins, sons-in-law etc.” But then the community responded back with their accusations. They said they had no trust in their police station. A young man raised his hand, “the other day we did a citizen’s arrest, but when we arrived at the police station the criminal ran away because no assistance was forthcoming from policemen on duty. In fact they were drunk!” Other speakers raised more grievances for the attention of the Minister of Police, Mr Charles Nqakula. They recommended that the national police commissioner deploy another batch of policemen and policewomen to work with them. Cele promised to hand deliver the grievances. But he also lambasted the station commissioner for snubbing such an important meeting. “how does he expect you to trust him if he doesn’t come to these meetings?” he asked angrily. He reminded the audience that they have routes to follow when police do not handle their cases properly. Meanwhile, the community turned up in numbers on September 12 to attend the Mathenjwa court case. Skirmishes with the police continued when people vented their anger at police contrary to the call by leaders to be calm on the day. The case was postponed again for further investigation. The community remains mobilised against Mathenjwa’s alleged barbaric act.