‘Axe mayor or we go back to Marikana’

2013-04-10 17:08

Residents of Zamdela, Sasolburg, have threatened to start a Marikana-like revolt if Metsimaholo Mayor Brutus Mahlaku does not resign in seven days.

Hundreds of the township’s residents marched to the local police station to lay criminal charges against Mahlaku, his mayoral committee and the municipality today.

They accuse Mahlaku and his team of corruption for allegedly appointing Bosele Security to provide the mayor’s VIP protection and security for his private residence.

City Press reported in February that the municipality pays about R90 000 a month to Bosele Security for four guns, armed bodyguards, pepper spray and regular patrols at Mahlaku’s house in Sasolburg.

Today’s march, organised by the local ANC Youth League branch, saw a heavy police presence, including members of the public order police unit in Welkom and Bloemfontein and others from the tactical response unit.

Earlier, police spokesperson Constable Peter Kareli said there had not been incidents of violence.

This is in contrast with the protests against the proposed merger between Metsimaholo and the Ngwathe local municipality in Parys.

Police stood guard at many of the shops looted and burnt down in February.

Kareli confirmed residents had opened a case against Mahlaku and the Metsimaholo municipality and that police would investigate.

A Zamdela resident, and one of the march’s leaders, Shoes Tsipane, said should Mahlaku not resign by next week, residents were “prepared to go back to Marikana”.

The residents’ memorandum also claims Metsimaholo council speaker Sello Matena and his predecessor, former ANC Free State provincial secretary William Bulwane, blew the municipality’s credit card on alcohol.

Matena said this was the first he had heard of the allegations against him, Sapa reported.

“The investigation (into the allegations against him and Mahlaku) will be done. I’ve not done anything wrong.”

Residents are demanding a forensic investigation and for current and former officials implicated to repay the misappropriated money.

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