Ex-Newcastle mayor fined R20 000 over assault of fibre installers

The National Prosecuting Authority has welcomed the successful prosecution of former Newcastle mayor Ntuthuko Nkululeko Mahlaba, who was sentenced to a fine of R20 000 or two years’ imprisonment for inciting violence.

Mahlaba was convicted at the Newcastle regional court on Monday for incitement to commit assault in terms of the Riotous Assemblies Act.

According to the NPA, the matter is related to an incident that occurred in September 2020 in the Aviary Hill area in Newcastle when some workers were digging trenches meant for fibre cables.

“Since the high court had granted an interdict for the work to stop, several community members, including Mahlaba, went to the workers, serving them with the interdict and asking them to stop. When the workers refused to stop, Mahlaba instructed people unknown to the state to assault the workers,” the statement explained on Wednesday.  “The people who assaulted the workers also took their tools and damaged the fibre cables.”

The state led the evidence of six witnesses who placed Mahlaba at the scene.

According to a media report, the labourers continued to install fibre when they had been told to stop after residents complained that the work was disrupting water and electricity services.

Source: techcentral.co.za