Armed with pangas and knobkerries, a mob of approximately 100 people descended onto an RDP home in Siyahlahla Informal Settlement demanding reasons as to why said person received the home, yet they did not.
The issue around the RDP homes in the Fairleigh and Siyahlahla Informal Settlement area has been escalating over recent months. However, this event reflects the seriousness of the situation and the rapid response required from local Government.
Lizzy Arumugam, Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications and Liaison Officer, explains, “The mob did not want to listen to his explanation. They then entered his house and wanted to assault him.”
Fearing for his life, the man warned the mob that he had a firearm and would use it if they entered his home and did not leave. His warning, however, fell on deaf ears.
The occupant then drew his 9mm, which is a licenced firearm, and proceeded to shoot one round into the ground, at the entrance to his house. Upon impact, the bullet broke apart, and then ricochet, resulting in bits of cement and the bullet hitting a member of the mob in his leg. However, Arumugam points out that the injuries were just abrasions and not significant.
The resident of the house then tried to deescalate the situation by talking to the convenors of the mob. However, before he could finish speaking, a member of the mob threw a Molotov cocktail (fire bottle) inside the house, resulting in the home going up in flames.
With the house now but a pile of ash, the occupant of the house was also taken into custody for attempted murder and discharging a firearm.
It appears the Newcastle area is dealing with a few challenges regarding fires. Read more: Newcastle CBD business burnt down
Author: Quinton Boucher
Edited: Calvin Swemmer