Political murders, police clashes in South Africa
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South Africa's national police commissioner Bheki Cele has been drawn into a new controversy, this time involving the police investigation of political murders in Mpumalanga.
In an extraordinary tit-for-tat, Mpumalanga provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Thulani Ntobela and Mbombela municipality mayor Lassy Chiwayo have laid charges against each other.
Both charges appear to flow from conversations Chiwayo had with Cele and two of his top generals last week in which Chiwayo expressed concerns about the "bias" of police in Mpumalanga and the ability of Ntobela in "handling matters within Mbombela" given the "politically volatile complex situation in Mpumalanga".
The conversations apparently took place on Thursday February 17 while Chiwayo was arranging for Wesselton community leader Bongani Phakathi to hand himself over to a senior policeman in Pretoria rather than to someone local.
Riots last week in Wesselton outside Ermelo were blamed in part on regional ANC leaders attempting to overrule the nomination of Phakathi to contest a ward in the coming local government elections.
Sources: Mail &Guardian (Africa)
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