ANC's Mthembu shot during armed robbery
Mthembu was using an Absa ATM on Mandela Street in the Witbank CBD on Sunday when an armed man approached him, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said.
“The suspect came from behind and pointed a firearm at him and instructed him to draw all his money from his account. Mr Mthembu turned around and unfortunately a shot went off and hit him in the cheek.”
Mohlala said the armed man and three alleged accomplices went to Mthembu’s car, where four of his friends were waiting for him.
They allegedly robbed Mthembu and his friends of their money and cellphones.
“Mr Mthembu was rushed to the Witbank hospital, where he is in a serious but stable condition,” Mohlala said. A case of armed robbery was opened.
A family member told The Citizen newspaper: “We don’t know exactly what happened, but Jackson has indeed been shot, and we are deeply shocked and worried.
“It is not clear how many times he was shot, but he is in hospital as we speak. I think the shooting was politically motivated.”
The ANC Chief Whip’s office expressed shock. “We are disturbed and infuriated by this mindless and callous act of criminality and implore the police to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that those savage thugs face the full might of the law,” spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.
No political motivation
The ANC cautioned those who claimed that the shooting of Mthembu was politically motivated.
“The ANC cautions against any malicious and misleading statements being made to suggest a political motive in this case and calls on those making such statements to desist from flaming distrust and confusion,” spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.
“Criminality of any form and against any individual should never be tolerated and those involved must be brought to book.”
The office of the ANC Chief Whip however said Mthembu was shot at close-range in the chest and admitted to the Emalahleni private hospital where he was in the intensive care unit.
“Luckily, he was able to drive himself to the close-by hospital, where [he] is under medical supervision,” Mothapo said.
Cosatu also expressed shock at the news of Mthembu’s shooting. “We salute his courage in driving himself to hospital and send him our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery,” spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.
“Cosatu demands that the SAPS do everything in their power to find and arrest those responsible for this outrage and bring them to justice as quickly as possible.”
Kodwa said the party had been in contact with Mthembu, who he said was in good spirits. – Sapa.