While discharging a firearm in public is a criminal offence, alleged members of the ANC in Ekurhuleni are seemingly going to escape facing consequences for their actions.
A day after South Africans went to the polls for the 2021 local government elections, ANC members were captured on video singing and dancing in the streets of Chief Albert Luthuli Extension 6 in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, as they fired gunshots into the air as vote counting continued.
Some of the gunshots were fired outside the house of independent candidate Lillian Moloto.
The incident prompted Moloto – from the Independent Citizen Movement – to try and open a case against the apparent ANC members at the Crystal Park Police Station.
Moloto spoke to The Citizen after her unsuccessful attempts to open the case.
“On the 3rd of November, I went to Crystal Park Police Station, but they didn’t open the case because they did not know what case to open,” she said.
The independent candidate, who contested Ekurhuleni municipality’s ward 110, says the shots were fired in front of her house, but she was not home at the time.
Moloto’s daughter, Kgomotso, who was a witness, described the incident.
“The ANC people were outside dancing and singing, but [at first] they started with throwing remarks saying no one will rule here. [They were] pointing fingers [and calling out] my mom, [saying] ‘who does she think she is’.
“Then they started singing a song about how they will be the only [party] ruling this place [and] after that there were gunshots. They were taking videos [and] when I called my mom they all got in their [vehicles and] then they left,” she said.
However, the Crystal Park Police Station suggested that Moloto had no case after she attempted to open a case of intimidation.
According to the station commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Puleng Belinda Motaung, there was no evidence of intimidation.
She also indicated that Moloto was once an ANC member.
Asked whether the police had seen the video of the ANC members firing shots, Motaung said yes, but Moloto should have reported the incident the day it happened rather than a day later.
“If she had come that day, we would have sent members of the POP [Public Order Policing] to go the scene and check the guns [to see] if they had cartridges or were loaded. We would have then arrested them if that was the case,” she told The Citizen.
Motaung said there was nothing the South African Police Service (Saps) could do, adding that the case could be taken up with the Ekurhuleni municipality.
This is despite the discharging of firearms in public places being illegal under the Firearms Control Amendment Act of 2006.
Section 120(3)(b) states: “It is also an offence to discharge a firearm or an air-gun in a manner likely to injure or endanger the safety or property of any person; or with reckless disregard for the safety or property of any person.”
The station commander also suggested that Moloto should accept that her movement did not win the ward she contested during the elections.
The Citizen made unsuccessful attempts to reach out to the ANC in Ekurhuleni for comment.