Church, ANC leaders visit activist Andile Lili

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Head of Cape Town’s Anglican church, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, prayed for gunshot victim and activist Andile Lili at Tygerberg Hospital yesterday.

Makgoba visited Lili, known for leading protests for improved township sanitation, and his family. Lili’s brother Mpucuko Nguzo said only he, his wife, an aunt and uncle, and two others were in the room at the time of the prayer.

“The reverend made it very clear that Andile will be very well after the prayer. It was his (Makgoba’s) intention to see him and pray for him,” said Nguzo.

“They have known each other since 2009 when they were both focusing on the open toilets in Khayelitsha.”

Nguzo said his family had asked the hospital to ensure tight security and not allow too many visitors in Lili’s hospital room.

Lili, a prominent activist and former ANC councilor, sustained two bullet shots late on Wednesday.

“We are worried about his safety. We can’t allow too many people to see him at the hospital. There is heavy security (at the hospital),” said Nguzo.

“We spent the whole night at the hospital on Wednesday. We couldn’t leave him without ensuring security.”

The Ses’khona NGO that Lili leads has blamed the attack on the local branch of the ANC, which the party has denied. Ses’khona had planned to march to the ANC’s offices in the city on Thursday and demand the party sack its provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile.

Nguzo said leaders and members from the ANC, other political parties and NGOs had all come to the hospital over the last few days to visit his injured brother. He said Lili was in a “stable condition”.

Yesterday he said the hospital’s security said “from now on it will be only the family that can visit him in the room”.

Mcebisi Skwatsha, deputy minister for rural development and land reform, said yesterday afternoon he was on his way to see Lili.

“I’ve just landed from Johannesburg. I am going there with Pam Thswete (deputy minister of water and sanitation),” he said.

“It is important that I go there because I’m an ANC member and an ANC leader in the region of Dullah Omar (in Cape Town). A leader of Ses’khona is a comrade of ours and he has been injured.”

Skwatsha dismissed allegations that the ANC was behind the attack.

“The ANC can in no way shoot anybody in this country. The leadership of the ANC condemned this attack on Andile,” said Skwatsha.

“We wish him a speedy recovery and we want his attackers brought to book so the truth can come out.”

Western Cape police confirmed it was investigating the shooting. No arrests have yet been made.

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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