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Woman loses her shack in petrol-bomb attack

Mpho Tshidivhi lost everything when her eight-room shack was petrol-bombed./PETER RAMOTHWALA
Mpho Tshidivhi lost everything when her eight-room shack was petrol-bombed./PETER RAMOTHWALA

A Limpopo mother has been left destitute after a group of men claiming to be EFF members allegedly petrol- bombed her eight-room shack, including a tavern.

Mpho Tshidivhi, 43 - a mother of seven from Juju Valley in Seshego, an informal settlement established by EFF leader Julius Malema and named after him - said the group came to her place on Saturday night claiming that music from her tavern was too loud and started pelting her shack with stones before petrol-bombing it.

"I lost everything in that shack, including seven refrigerators, catering equipment, money, clothes and my identity document. "The group accused me of making noise by playing loud music. They said pupils are writing exams and need to study. It is not true because the bombing happened at 8pm while my licence allows me to sell liquor until 2am," she said.

"I had just connected my sound system on the day and a few minutes later, I heard banging sounds on my shack. When I went out to check, I found a group of men pelting my shack with stones."

Tshidivhi said she braved a hail of stones that were being thrown at her and went to confront the group that immediately ran away.

"I followed them to a nearby sports ground where they had assembled and I identified a few of them. Immediately after returning home, the group followed me and started throwing stones at my shack again. They came in and took money and alcohol before throwing a petrol bomb that reduced my shack into rubble."

She said she lost over R300,000 worth of belongings. Provincial police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said they were investigating a case of arson and that no arrests have been made.

EFF provincial chairperson Jossey Buthane, who visited the area on Sunday, said: "Those people are not EFF members, it's just a group of thugs who go around harassing and intimidating people of Juju Valley. We are not going to allow a situation where poor people who are making a living for themselves are harassed by thugs."

Buthane claimed the group was selling portions of land and making residents pay R5 every week. "We had to destroy their small office from where they had been operating. The land was donated to EFF so that the poor can have a place to call home," he said.

A resident who wished to remain anonymous said he disapprove of what the gang did to the woman.

"We as parents are the ones who should complain that she is disturbing school children from studying, but none of the complaints came from us. This woman started her business from scratch by selling sweets and snacks. Today she has grown her business and now they destroyed everything," he said.

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