Pastor sues minister of safety and security for R900000

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A pastor is suing Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula for R900000 in damages.

Meshack Mtshali, 55, from Groutville on the north coast of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, is suing Nqakula after an angry mob torched his house last month, accusing him of witchcraft.

A home-made bomb was used in the incident.

Mtshali claims that police did not do their job as they watched apparently helplessly when his house was being torched.

But Mtshali wants the house back.

"The police were there and they did not do anything to protect my family and my property from the angry mob.

"I lost 260 chickens during the incident and I feel that these policemen did not do their job," Mtshali said.

His lawyer, Nathi Shozi, said a letter of demand has been sent to the minister.

Shozi said that if Nqakula does not respond within 30 working days, they will issue summons for what they believe was the omission of work by the police.

"We believe the police failed to protect our client's property," Shozi said.

"They were there but did not do anything to prevent the house from being burnt to ashes."

Trevor Bloom, Nqakula's spokesman, said they have not received a letter.

"I can't comment until the letter reaches us. Though I have heard that it was sent to us on Monday, it takes time before it comes to the minister's office," Bloom said.

Mtshali and his family of 14 are crammed in a two-roomed, low-cost house where they are hiding in fear of being killed.

Five people were arrested after the incident. They are out on warning and expected to appear in the Stanger magistrates' court on December 14.