Round-the-clock police protection for Faith Muthambi's mom

08 June 2016 - 08:54 By GRAEME HOSKEN

The mother of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has round-the-clock police protection, with an armoured vehicle parked outside her Vuwani home in Limpopo. But, say police, Phophi Muthambi is not the only one in the violence-torn area whose property is closely guarded by officers.For the past month residents, upset over the demarcation of Vuwani, have embarked on violent protests. More than 20 schools and several municipal buildings have been torched.Photographs in The Times' possession show a Casspir parked outside Muthambi's mother's home in Tshivhulana village near Vuwani.Police say "close to 20 people" are receiving such protection.Residents say it is strange because threats of violence have never been made against other residents, especially an elder like Muthambi's mother. Vuwani funds gathering dustA drive to raise funds for schools in the embattled Vuwani area of Limpopo has yielded R1.7-million, of which R500,000 has been set aside for desks, chairs, photocopy machines and books. Vuwani schools damage prompts call for new law to punish vandalsThe Department of Basic Education has appealed to lawmakers to strengthen legislation to deal harshly with anyone who vandalises or destroys school infrastructure.Vuwani, Malamulele breathe life into Verwoerd's ghostLimpopo protests manifest jungle law in the centre and on peripheries, writes Mukoni RatshitangaA resident who has lived close to her for several years said she was a respected community member."She is the minister's mother, not just an ordinary person. People respect her. When the police came we thought something was wrong."When we asked we were told people wanted to burn down her house. No one here would do that," said a resident, who asked not to be named.The resident said Muthambi's house was the only one in the village under police guard."No one else here has police guards. Maybe in a faraway village, but not here."Police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said it was opportunistic to single out the minister's mother. Other people also received the same attention."Close to 20 people, among them prosecutors, magistrates, teachers and community members, including the communications minister's mother, have received threats that their properties will be burnt."The police could not take the threats for granted and have taken action to guard the properties."Asked who ordered the armoured vehicle to be deployed, Mulaudzi said: "Police leadership saw it fit to safeguard the properties."On how long the vehicle would remain outside Muthambi's home, he said: "The vehicles safeguarding the properties will continue patrolling the premises until there is total restoration of order in the Vuwani area, or when those who threatened are arrested."

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