Copesville stands defiant

2016-04-25 11:00
Copesville residents gathered to meet with ANC regional secretary Mzi Zuma at the Copesville Community Grounds.

Copesville residents gathered to meet with ANC regional secretary Mzi Zuma at the Copesville Community Grounds. (Kailene Pillay, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Copesville residents were disappointed when ANC regional secretary Mzi Zuma told them to “have patience and allow the ANC time to go through its processes”.

Hundreds had called for an urgent meeting with the party’s regional secretary yesterday, following protest action last week. They are demanding that their ward councillor Thandi Ndlovu be removed and an interim councillor be appointed until the local government elections in August.

Zuma addressed more than 500 formal and informal residents yesterday afternoon at the Copesville Community Grounds.

During last week’s protest, almost 5 000 angry ­protesters from formal and informal homes blocked all roads leading to and from the area, and burnt their ward councillor’s office and a R2 million clinic.

The community said they would resume protests this week as they expressed disappointment and anger at Zuma’s words.

When the community gathered yesterday, they had expected answers from the ANC regional office.

“We did not come here to be told they don’t have answers. They were supposed to come here and tell us their plan, not give us their excuses and stories,” said one of the community members, who did not want to be named.

Zuma pleaded with the crowd, saying the ANC understands and respects their demands; however, “due processes need to be followed”.

“Allow us the space and time to go through the processes. ANC will pay attention to your area and your wants as immediate as today. But you will not get answers today,” said Zuma.

It is believed the community are also unhappy with the candidates for this year’s local government elections.

“We will be paying attention to this and communicate with you all in due time. In a week’s time we can come back to you,” Zuma said.

However, the community expressed their anger by shouting at Zuma to give them answers immediately, before chanting “Thandi must fall”.

Some residents demanded to see change immediately.

Mountain Rise police officers were on stand-by at the grounds yesterday.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  protest

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