Mayor, councillor 'point at each other with guns'

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Former mayor of the Polokwane Municipality Lawrence Mapoulo is expected to testify in court on the matter involving current mayor Thabo Makunyane and one of the councilors in the municipality.

The two allegedly exchanged harsh words on Friday last week at the council's year-end function which was held at the Peter Mokaba Stadium hall.

According to eye-witnesses, Mapoulo got himself in the thick of things in his attempt to quell the tensions between Makunyane and ANC Ward 13 councillor in Seshego, Calvin Selajoe.

During the heated argument, the two allegedly threatened to shoot each other to death. This happened in full view of colleagues and other guests.

Makunyane and a group of fellow drinkers allegedly ran out of ice to dilute their whisky that was visibly flowing freely during the event.

Selajoe was asked to go and buy the ice, and on his return the two picked up a fight.

It is alleged that in the process, Makunyane went for his waist where his firearm was hanging.

And seeing that his life was in danger, Selajoe also went for his hip - for his firearm.

"The two were swearing at each other and it was difficult to calm them down," said a source who wished to remain anonymous.

The source said had it not been for the intervention of Mapoulo, "we would be speaking a different language now".

Shortly thereafter, Makunyane allegedly called his friends in the police service to come and arrest Selajoe, but upon arrival, Selajoe had vanished.

Makunyane then opened a case of being pointed with a firearm against Selajoe.

Upon hearing that Makunyane had opened a case, Selajoe also opened a counter case the following day.

Sowetan has since reliably learnt that the two firearms had been seized by the police.

But police spokesman Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said they were only investigating a case of "assault by threats" against the two municipal officials.

Approached for comment yesterday, Selajoe described the incident as a "minor difference" which would be resolved.

He confirmed that his firearm and that of Makunyane had been taken by the police.

Makunyane refused to comment and, instead, instructed Sowetan to go and verify its facts before writing the story.

But insiders said the two had not been seeing eye-to-eye over a period of time.