A mob from the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Nelson Mandela Bay tried to burn down the house of a councillor – while his wife and two children were trapped inside – after an abortive standoff with officials demolishing illegal shacks on Thursday‚ it was reported on Friday.
Our sister publication The Herald newspaper quoted the councillor’s wife Zanele Tyukana as saying the two municipality appointed bodyguards who were with them at the time‚ fled the scene.
This followed the shocking incident earlier in the day when a father resisting the shack demolitions threw his six-month-old daughter off the roof. The baby was saved by metro police‚ who caught her before she hit the ground.
The Herald reported about 90 shacks were demolished. A mob then went to the home of councillor Simphiwe Tyukana.
The screams of his wife and their two small children and a neighbour did nothing to deter the group‚ who appeared determined to burn the house down – with the four trapped inside.
Tyukana was not home at the time.
“I was terrified for my children‚ who were crying hysterically‚” Zanele told The Herald.
“The mob shattered all of the windows‚ then set a tyre alight. . . They tried to force (it) through the lounge window. When that didn’t work‚ they put the burning tyre at the front door [in an attempt to burn it] to get inside.”
At his office not far from his house‚ Tyukana had received a call from his brother‚ informing him protesters were trying to burn his house down with his wife and children inside.
The group fled when the police reinforcements were called out.
Police are investigating.