A social media post to Mobile City Councilman C.J. Small’s Facebook page indicating that he’s “having a good time in Africa,” may have been the result of his cell phone being stolen during a robbery Saturday.
Tiffany Washington, a family friend who first notified the public about the robbery that resulted in Small being shot in the face, said Monday that she saw the Facebook post but “I have no idea where it came from.”
The post surfaced around 5 a.m., but was pulled from Facebook a short time later. In it, Small purportedly tells his Facebook followers that he had a “small incident” in Johannesburg, South Africa, and that he will be back in the U.S. soon.
“His phone was stolen in South Africa and this may be a result of that,” Washington said. “I don’t know.”
Washington said that Small remains in stable condition at a Johannesburg hospital after he was shot in the face following an ambush and robbery of the tour bus he was on sometime around noon on Saturday.
She said an update about Small will be released either later today or early Tuesday.
Small, owner and operator of Smalls Mortuary Inc. of Mobile, was in South Africa attending the South African Funeral Director & Morticians Association Convention. A licensed funeral director and embalmer, Small has – in the last 10 years – established his business in Mobile, Theodore and Fairhope.
Marion Steinfels, spokeswoman with the city, said Small was in South Africa for a business trip and that it was unrelated to his role as an elected official nor was it paid for by taxpayers. Small has been a member of the Mobile City Council since November 2012.
Councilmen Fred Richardson and Levon Manzie, in Small’s absence, will be handling inquires, phone calls and emails for residents living in the third district – an area immediately south of downtown Mobile that covers neighborhoods such as Maysville and along Dauphin Island Parkway.
Meanwhile, public officials have taken to social media to offer well-wishes for the injured councilman since the robbery became publicly known Sunday.
Our thoughts and prayers are also with his family. We stand ready to assist them to ensure his safe return.
— Sandy Stimpson (@MayorStimpson) May 22, 2016
— Levon C. Manzie (@lcmanzie06) May 22, 2016
My thoughts and prayers are with my friend CJ Small and his family. We wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back home soon.
— Chris Elliott (@BCC_Elliott) May 22, 2016