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Former EFF Limpopo chairperson — now an ANC member — arrested for attempted murder after shooting of man, child

Former EFF Limpopo chairperson — now an ANC member — arrested for attempted murder after shooting of man, child
ANC member and former EFF chairperson in Limpopo Jossey Buthane (middle) has been arrested following a shooting incident between ANC and EFF supporters at Juju Valley outside Polokwane. (Photo: Supplied)

ANC member Jossey Buthane, the former EFF Limpopo provincial chairperson, faces charges of attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition in connection with the shooting during violent clashes between EFF and ANC supporters in Polokwane on 18 and 19 May. The mother of the young girl wounded in the shooting has, meanwhile, urged political parties to allow each to campaign freely.

Police say they have arrested 44-year-old ANC member Jossey Buthane, who is the former EFF Limpopo provincial chairperson, for attempted murder and for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. 

Buthane’s arrest came after violence broke out and shots were fired in clashes between EFF and ANC supporters on 18 and 19 May 2024 in the Juju Valley informal settlement in Seshego, Polokwane.

ANC supporters were campaigning in the area, an EFF stronghold, when the violence erupted. Shots were fired, and a 25-year-old man and nine-year-old Tsiamo Lebaka were wounded. 

The man, who was shot in the leg, was treated in hospital and discharged, while Tsiamo, who was shot in the head, is in a stable condition in the intensive care unit at the Polokwane Provincial Hospital. She is out of a coma and able to speak.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Nine-year-old girl fighting for her life after being shot in EFF-ANC fight 

Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said the suspect was “only arrested for attempted murder of the shooting of a 25-year-old man, not for the girl”. He appeared in the Seshego Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 24 May, facing charges of attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. He was granted bail of R5,000 and the case was postponed until 2 July 2024, Mashaba said.

EFF leader Julius Malema has accused ANC members who visited the informal settlement of being “anarchists” who went there armed with guns. He asked why police were not arresting more suspects as most of them were seen in videos on social media armed with firearms.

Jossey Buthane

From left: EFF Limpopo chairperson Jossey Buthane, commissar Fana Mokoena and party leader Julius Malema at an EFF meeting with the Lepelle-Nkumpi subregion in Limpopo in 2019. (Photo: EFF / Facebook)

ANC provincial spokesperson Jimmy Machaka questioned why only an ANC member was arrested whereas the violence took place between EFF and ANC supporters. “While we note the arrest, the ANC Limpopo is concerned that members of the SAPS are only targeting ANC members despite criminal cases being opened against EFF members.

Jossey Buthane

Jossey Buthane, the former EFF Limpopo chairperson who has returned to the ANC, has been arrested for attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm. (Photo: Supplied)

“The ANC further believe that the case against comrade Jossey is politically motivated and aims to prevent him from mobilising support for the ANC across the province particularly in the last leg of elections,” Machaka said.

Tsiamo Lebaka, EFF

Nine-year-old Grade 3 pupil Tsiamo Lebaka, who was wounded during a clash between ANC and EFF supporters at Juju Valley Settlement in Seshego. (Photo: Supplied)

Tsiamo’s mother, Tebogo Lebaka, told Daily Maverick that Tsiamo is out of her coma, but is still in the ICU. “She is able to speak and smile to us now. She told me she wants to come back home and go to school.”

Provincial health spokesperson Neil Shikwambana has confirmed that the little girl’s condition is stable. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: 2024 elections

Lebaka said she could not understand why people would carry guns while they were campaigning, and she urged political parties to tolerate one another and allow each other to campaign freely. 

Police say more arrests are expected. The Independent Electoral Council is also investigating the matter. DM

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