Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane was robbed of her belongings when robbers broke into her hotel room in the early hours of Sunday.
Mokonyane had lodged into a Mathaba hotel, in Eastern Cape, after attending a wedding ceremony of a relative on Saturday. She earlier delivered an OR Tambo Memorial Lecture at Walter Sisulu University on Friday.
Her department disclosed that the minister was fast asleep at the Garden Court Holiday Inn when the robbers broke in. The hoodlums made away with her handbag, cellphones and tablet but the minister was not harmed.
Reports have it that the minister was alerted by the hotel’s patrolling security, who noticed that her window was wide open around 1 am.
The report was confirmed by the department of Water and Sanitation in a statement.
“Indications are that the intruders forcefully opened a window leading into the minister’s room, in which she was sleeping at the time. A handbag, cellphones and tablet were among the items stolen.
The minister was unharmed. She was woken up by security at the hotel after realising that the window was open whilst doing their rounds and that window then alerted them that there might have been a break-in or a problem at the hotel (sic),” the department said.
Meanwhile, a case of burglary and theft has been opened with the Mthatha Central Police Station and the matter is now under investigation.
Minister Mokonyane was appointed on May 25, 2014, in the cabinet of South Africa under Jacob Zuma. She once served as Premier of Gauteng province.
In a related story, the office of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was also burgled by robbers on Saturday morning.
Mogoeng’s office said in a detailed statement that about 15 computers containing sensitive information about judges and officials of the OCJ were stolen by the robbers.
The crime took place at the Midrand offices where the human resources and facilities units are located.
The spokesperson for the Republic of South Africa Judiciary Nathi Mncube described the incident as a huge setback for the entire administration of the justice.
“I can confirm that there was a break-in at the office of the chief justice. I must indicate that this is the administration wing of the office, which is located in Midrand. The police have informed us that they are currently investigating the matter, with the view to have the perpetrators arrested.”
The break-in happened barely 24-hours after the Constitutional Court handed down a damning judgment on Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on the social grants crisis she had manufactured.
Sources have it that the burglars entered through an emergency door and stole computers on the first floor but not those on the ground floor.
In the wake of the shocking report, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu and DA MP John Steenhuisen accused State Security Minister David Mahlobo of having a hand in the break-in.
My rational suspicion is that the State Security Agency (Mahlobo) is the one who broke into Chief Justice's office and stole computers.
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) March 18, 2017
My money's on Mahlobo and the kak-handed SSA. Signal jammer, imaginary social media villains and inept break ins. Intimidation of judiciary https://t.co/z7mncm5Xky
— John Steenhuisen (@jsteenhuisen) March 18, 2017
The ANC has since advised Police Minister Mahlobo to take legal action against DA’s Steenhuisen.