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Friday Jan 11, 2013

'Zuma-wooing' woman in hot water over enlarging her property

The Zululand businesswoman who apparently recently tried to declare her affection to President Jacob Zuma has raised the ire of the uMlalazi municipality (Eshowe) which is accusing her of illegally occupying municipal land next to her property.

She is also accused of chopping down trees on the land.

Nomthandazo Mathaba-Mthembu made headlines when she arrived at Zuma's Nkandla homestead in a convoy bearing gifts and with women singing courtship songs. She was turned away at the entrance.

Mathaba-Mthembu is a well-known businesswoman in Eshowe. She runs a tavern, a restaurant, a funeral parlour and a boutique and, apparently, introduces herself as a lawyer.

This week the sheriff was at her house in Sunnydale to serve her with papers, but she was out of town.

Municipal manager Thembinkosi Mashabane said officials had noticed on Christmas Day that she had extended her yard. A letter was sent to her warning that the encroachment was illegal.

He said the municipality had not established how many hectares she had "invaded".

"We are going to warn her about this and, if this continues, we will start getting harder on her," said Mashabane.

The uMlalazi project manager, Muzi Sithole, said that the "illegally occupied" land was reserved for road extensions and had water and sewerage pipes running through it.

"She had applied to have her yard extended towards the street, and the council was going to discuss the matter in its next meeting, but she suddenly extended her yard without approval," he said.

When The Mercury contacted Mathaba-Mthembu for comment she said: "I have meetings to attend and I'm out of town. I'm very busy."

Eshowe locals were taken aback to read that Mathaba-Mthembu had apparently tried to court Zuma.

"We never suspected anything because we have never seen her with Zuma," said one of her neighbours.

Mathaba-Mthembu said she would talk about the Zuma matter when she was ready.

"This shocked me because it is all lies. I will contact you so that we can talk about this. Right now I'm busy in meetings," she said.

The Mercury

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