NWest to probe Boitumelong complaints

By Drum Digital
09 April 2014

North West is to appoint an audit firm to investigate complaints of the residents of Boitumelong near Bloemhof.

Local government spokeswoman Dineo Lolokwane said on Wednesday the firm would investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration. They were raised by residents of Boitumelong near Bloemhof in the Lekwa Teemane local municipality. "The decision emerged in a meeting held between the MEC for local government and traditional affairs and the council of Lekwa Teemane after violent protests since last week," she said in a statement.

"MEC Manketse Tlhape said the audit firm will be expected to present their final report within six weeks."

Residents have been on the rampage protesting and burning buildings as they expressed their dissatisfaction.

On Monday, six houses and a community hall were torched during protests in the area.

Protesters disrupted schools, barricaded the N12 with burning tyres, pelted police with stones and petrol bombed a nyala. Two police officers were injured and taken to hospital.

A police officer lost his finger in the process.

Protesters were demanding the resignation of the mayor and some councillors, accusing them of nepotism and failing to deliver basic services.

Around 100 people have been arrested since the protests began last week Wednesday. They have been charged with public violence and malicious damage to property.

On Tuesday night, seven houses belonging to police officers were set alight following a community meeting.

Lolokwane said the municipality had passed a council resolution to allow the provincial government to institute a forensic audit to investigate the allegations levelled against it.

"MEC Tlhape said amongst other issues that the community have raised, is the call for the provincial government to invoke provision of Section 139 of the Constitution in the municipality," she said.

There was a legislative process which had to unfold before a decision could be taken to dissolve a council and as government, they did not yet have a reasons to believe that the municipality was on the verge of collapse, she added.

"On their call to have the municipality fall under Dr Kenneth Kaunda district municipality from Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati is an issue that is handled purely by the Municipal Demarcation Board," said Lolokwane.

-SAPA

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