News24

ANC politicians blamed for N West riots

2011-11-01 22:12

Pretoria - Violent protests near Brits that led to the petrol bombing of a police vehicle were initiated by disgruntled ANC members, a Madibeng municipality spokesperson claimed on Tuesday.

David Masike, spokesperson for Madibeng mayor Poppy Magongoa, said ANC members not selected to stand in the May 18 local government election were behind the unrest.

"We know who exactly is behind those protests. Those are members of the ANC who could not make it onto the party's candidates list," he said.

"This whole thing [protests] is not about service delivery only, people are being instigated to protest."

On Monday night an armoured police vehicle, commonly known as a Nyala, was petrol bombed during a violent service delivery protests in Oukasi, North West.

Police said the vehicle had entered Oukasi to help control rioting when residents barricaded streets with rocks and burning tyres. They were demanding water and electricity.

Protesters threw a petrol bomb at the Nyala and it exploded, causing damage to the inside of the vehicle. No police officers were injured.

Reports also indicated that a shop was looted and burnt on the same night.

Police spokesperson Captain Aafje Botma said the township was calm late on Tuesday.

She said police information was that the protests had erupted after the municipality had failed to respond to a memorandum of demands.

Masike denied that residents' demands were not being met.

He said the municipality was trying to address the protesters' demands, but that most of the problems in the area were "inherited" from the previous administration.

"We cannot be expected to have erased all the problems in the five months we've been in office. We are ready to engage and discuss with the community," Masike said.

"There are many projects underway to improve the lives of our people. We will be appointing a contractor soon for the electrification project. The people leading the protests were once councillors who now seek to destabilise the municipality."

He said there had been meetings with the protesters on Tuesday, and a follow-up meeting was set for November 9.

In June, the Beeld newspaper reported that the municipality was renting a BMW at R2 025 a day for the executive mayor.

This arrangement was done while the mayor's Range Rover was having some problems.

Madibeng municipality was placed under administration by the North West provincial government in March 2010.

This administration ended when the new municipal council took over after the May local government elections.