Matatiele meets SADC

2008-07-15 00:00

The Matatiele/Maluti mass action organising committee (Maoc) has asked the South African Development Community (SADC) to intervene so that KwaZulu-Natal can retain the town of Matatiele.

Maoc met with SADC officials yesterday and handed over documents relating to Matatiele’s struggle to remain part of the province to SADC’s director of politics, defence and security, Tanki Mothae. Mothae discussed the future of Matatiele with the committee.

At a media briefing, Maoc chairman Musa Xaba said that Matatiele residents want the SADC to convince the government that the town should remain in KwaZulu-Natal.

Xaba said the committee initially requested a meeting with ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe in April to discuss the matter.

He said that the committee will also take the matter to the Constitutional Court as the Human Rights Commission hearings were a “sham”.

“During the hearings, 5 686 people wanted Matatiele to remain in KZN. We want to know what informed them to move the town.”

He said the people have made it clear that they don’t want the town to fall under the Eastern Cape.

“This is not acceptable. Unless government can prove that the hearings were fair, we will still consider them a sham,” he said.

If attempts to retain Matatiele fail, Xaba said, residents will start rolling mass action. He said that when the fight to retain Matatiele began in August 2005, thousands of residents protested. More of these protests will be staged if the matter is not resolved, he warned.

“The rolling mass action will continue,” Xaba added.

“SADC is one of the options we have. However, we are hoping that a solution will come through.”

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