ANC councillor arrested again

BARBERTON – City of Mbombela Local Municipality councilor, Mandla Mamba, will spend the weekend behind bars after the Barberton Magistrate Court denied him bail today.

Mamba was rearrested and charged with the violation of his bail conditions on Wednesday afternoon.

Magistrate Lucky Mhlanga refused to release Mamba on the ground that the magistrate who granted Mamba a R10 000 bail for his initial charges of malicious damage to property and theft of a firearm a month ago, would have to determine whether he violated his bail conditions or not.

Magistrate Ricardo Cloete granted Mamba and his four co-accused bail on September 9. Among his bail conditions, Mamba was not permitted to participate in any community gatherings and demonstrations or any act of inciting the community.

Cloete said failure to comply to these conditions, would lead to the court declaring his bail provisionally cancelled. The bail money would be forfeited to the state and a warrant of his arrest would be issued.

It is alleged that Mamba, who is the councillor of Ward 45, was spotted among the community members who brought Fairview Mine to a standstill on Monday.

The residents demanded that management prioritise local residents first when there were job opportunities at the mines.

In the past Mamba had been instrumental in negotiating for locals to be employed at the Fairview, Sheba Siding and New Consort mines.

Soon after his arrest on Wednesday afternoon, the residents of Ward 45 barricaded roads entering the area by setting tyres alight. They also scattered trails of rubbish in the area by tipping over rubbish bins and emptying plastic bags.

No private cars, taxis or buses were allowed to enter or exit the area.

More chaos erupted outside the court on Thursday after Mhlanga denied Mamba bail. His supporters sang struggle songs and insulted the Barberton SAPS station commander, Col Sunbright Ndlovu. The protesters allegedly accused Ndlovu of being involved in propaganda with the intention of tarnishing the image of their leader.

Mamba’s defense lawyer, Mr Maxhosa Labe, tried to convince Mhlanga to release him, but to no avail. Mamba will reappear in the Barberton Magistrate Court next week Tuesday to determine whether he is to be released or not.

Richard Nkosi

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