IN what has been described as politically motivated violence, a small group of protesters set alight the offices of a Nelson Mandela Bay councillor in Booysen Park yesterday and another group later burnt tyres down the road.
Police confirmed last night that two people were arrested in Booysen Park after councillor Mbongeni Bungane’s office was set alight yesterday afternoon.
No one was injured when angry residents threw a petrol bomb into the office, effectively gutting it.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said it was believed the Ward 21 community was angry about illegal electricity connections in the area.
"Luckily, two people who were in the office managed to escape. Only one block of the hall was burnt to the ground,” he said.
Conflicting accounts were given by the protesters about why the office was burnt and later, tyres were set alight nearby.
Some said they were upset over illegal electricity connections in the area, while others were angry over a clampdown on homeowners selling electricity – at a higher rate – to shack dwellers.
Bungane’s secretary, Linda Gqamane, said she escaped narrowly when the mob she claimed assaulted her tried to force her into the burning hall.
Bungane, who was addressing Joe Slovo residents on service delivery issues at the time, said the fire had nothing to do with electricity connections.
"All this damage is politically motivated. Since March this year we have had people unhappy with the current ANC structure in the area.”
Soon after the hall was set on fire, a group of mainly youths burnt tyres, blocking William Slammert Drive.
A power failure in the area last night was attributed to illegal connections, metro spokesman Kupido Baron said.