Fearing for life after RDP story

GUNSHOT FIRED: Lesseyton resident Zolile Tonga, from Zola, shares his life-threatening ordeal. He believes it has to do with an article in The Rep on the halted RDP housing project Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWWANA

Lesseyton resident Zolile Tonga fears for his life after someone in a white VW Polo followed his son last Sunday and four days later a bullet was fired at their home in Zola.

Tonga believes the motive behind this is a news article published by The Rep where he alleged the real corruption that took place during the incomplete RDP housing project which started in 2009 in Lesseyton.

“This started last Sunday when I sent my 30-year-old son to collect food for my pigs at a store in Komani.

“On his way home he noticed a white VW Polo with tinted windows had been following him from town. When he decided to stop at the side of the road on the N2 near an ostrich farm to allow the Polo to pass, to his surprise the car slowed down and parked behind him.

“He then drove off in the same direction and the Polo followed.

“When he reached the turn to his area the car made a U-turn and drove towards Komani.”

He had been so fearful, it did not occur to him to record the car’s number plate.

Days later, a bullet was fired in Tonga’s yard while he was watching TV with the door open.

“The shooting happened after 8pm and came from the direction of the kraal.

“After some time, my sons and I went outside with torches to find where the bullet had landed but we could did not locate it.”

When he reported the incidents to the police, he was told there was nothing much they could without the vehicle’s number plate.

The Rep reported “Hope after seven-year wait: Lesseyton residents set to have their RDP house project unblocked”, on December 4 2020.

The article exposed how some Lesseyton residents from Zola, Xuma Tabatha, Toisekraal and Ekuphumleni had lived in temporary structures for years after the 700-house RDP project came to a halt due to several issues.

These included encroachments and houses built in public spaces reserved for a reservoir, church, street, clinic, community hall, sports field and pump stations, to name a few, which Tonga exposed.

Responding to Tonga’s statement that no-one was held accountable by the office of the Public Protector, national spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said the matter was closed last year on the grounds that the allegations were not substantiated.

“The complainant [Tonga] applied for an internal review of the decision to close the file. The review is now underway at head office [Pretoria] and a decision is pending.

“Complainants who are unhappy about the basis upon which their cases are closed due to unsubstantiated allegations can, in terms of the public protector rules, request a review of the decision from a higher authority internally. If the request is upheld, the matter is reinvestigated.”

Tonga said he would take the matter to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to investigate.

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