The case of an alleged assault by an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillor, Lucky Chabalala against Joburg official, Lillian Kolisang, has been postponed to October after the councillor failed to appear before council’s Ethics and Disciplinary Committee this month.
Kolisang, who is the spokesperson to the Speaker of Council, said the postponement is frustrating. “I just want him to apologise and this to be over with,” she said.
But a private apology won’t do. Kolisang demands Chabalala apologise publicly for allegedly slapping her across the face at PH Network Cafe in Mondeor early this year.
Kolisang said she ran into the councillor while out with a friend. After sitting down together, Chabalala allegedly became too familiar and started to touch her upper thigh. She asked him to stop, but he continued. The situation escalated by him leaving the table and upon returning, he slapped Kolisang in the face for talking to someone else. Kolisang and her friend then decided to leave.
“I expected that he would call immediately and apologise. When that did not happen I thought that there was no remorse. You would think someone would feel guilty about it.
“I am so angry, it is unbelievable! It is unfortunate that something like this happened.”
Kolisang also said the entire situation has been emotionally taxing, but she has conditioned herself to speak about it.
“It was not easy to open up, but I asked myself, what would I tell my daughter to do if she was in the same situation?”
Silumko Mabona, spokesperson for the EFF in Joburg, responded on behalf of Chabalala who could not be reached due to an apparent illness.
He said the matter was brought to the party when the incident happened. “We believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The councillor was called in to give his side of the story and there have also been engagements with the office of the speaker,” said Mabona.
“The councillor was placed on special leave until the case was concluded in court so that we couldn’t interfere with the police investigation. Once the case was concluded, the councillor was back at work as he was found not guilty,” Mabona said.
However, a police spokesperson, Captain Kay Makhubela said the case of common assault is very much still ongoing and that Chabalala merely appeared before the court on 10 May and was released on bail. Kolisang feels police aren’t doing enough.
“The [police] failed to collect the evidence at PH Cafe after the incident. I went to try and get it and they said it will only be given to police. I informed the investigating officer of this requirement. To date [police have] not collected the evidence,” she said.
She has also not been able to get through to the investigating officer, who, she said, has been changed since the case was opened.
The EFF’s Mabona also said that the party has cooperated with the council committee and will await the outcome thereof.
“The EFF is fully behind the rights of women and will ensure that there is a free but fair investigation into the matter until it reaches its conclusion.”