Phosa wants KZN police boss to stop corrupt cops 

ANC bigwig Matthews Phosa has demanded justice and safety from KwaZulu-Natal police boss Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi following death threats and intimidation against stakeholders in his coal mine near Dundee – with police officers implicated. 

Phosa’s letter to Mkhwanazi, dated May 27, details an incident five days earlier, on May 22, when the leader of the small mining and farming community, Vele Buthelezi, got a  
tip-off that a local taxi owner and a notorious accomplice were “planning to come to kill them and take their property”. 

In the letter, Phosa describes the taxi owner, whose name is known to the publication, as a fraudster and criminal. 

Phosa told Mkhwanazi that after the threats were brought to his attention, he contacted the police’s station commander in Dundee, “who gave all assurances that he would take measures to prevent crime”. True to his word, on May 22, the Dundee police deployed SAPS members to patrol the perimeters of Farm Hazeldene. 

As the sun set around 7pm, another phone call from a neighbouring farmer warned Buthelezi that buses were gathering and a crowd would descend upon Hazeldene Farm by dawn. 

“I have to state that this strike or gathering was unauthorised and illegal. The only reason that the police knew about it was because Mr Vele Buthelezi received a tip from someone he knew.  

“The police were called out to prevent crimes from being committed.” 

At the stroke of 6 am, amidst a cacophony of megaphones and traditional weapons, the group, also armed with shovels and singing slogans like “live or die”, gathered outside Hazeldene Farm. 

“I have been told that participants in the illegal gathering outside Hazeldene Farm threatened to enter and burn the grass, which is a custom in the area, but they also said that if any machines or equipment were in the way, they couldn’t help it if that property was burnt or damaged. This was clearly a ruse to gain entry to cause damage, destruction, intimidate and cause harm to the legal owners of the property,” said Phosa. 

He held the deployed police officers responsible for their inaction during the intruders’ incursion into the farm and their subsequent rampage.  

“When participants of the illegal gathering illegally gained access to Hazeldene Farm through the adjacent property and [the police officer] was told to intervene, he refused, and the police left shortly after.” 

He said the defiant police officer he identified in the letter was known for his corruption and underhanded dealings. Instead of defusing the situation, he opted to escalate it and chase away the SAPS patrol unit, forcing the owners of Hazeldene Farm to confront the crowd themselves. 

He added: “His defiance in carrying out his duty as an officer of the law is clearly a continuation of his efforts to undermine and sabotage our operation and relentlessly harass, intimidate and victimise the owners of Hazeldene Farm.” 

Phosa said that, according to eyewitnesses, a member of the armed crowd shouted over a megaphone, boasting his immunity to police intervention.  

He said the police did not try and disperse the crowd, allowed them to continue, “despite the law stating that even a peaceful gathering of over 10 people needs to be authorised by the traffic department and metro police”. 

 “In other words, they took unlawful possession of our business and Phezkhomkono’s land with the support of [the police]. I suspect that both of them were corrupted by the taxi owner.” 

“I am demanding that all necessary measures be taken immediately to protect the owners of Hazeldene Farm, the members of the Phezkhomkono community, all the legal occupiers of Hazeldene Farm, and our multi-billion-rand business, to protect our safety, security, and all. 


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