Vuwani residents win court battle to have meeting on demarcation issues

2017-04-17 08:25
Roads were blocked with burning tyres during recent protests in Vuwani. (Netwerk24)

Roads were blocked with burning tyres during recent protests in Vuwani. (Netwerk24)

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Polokwane - The Thohoyandou High Court has granted angry Vuwani residents permission to gather and discuss demarcation disputes.

This after the municipality they are fighting against, as well as the local magistrate's court, refused to grant them authorisation to gather.

Over the past days police prevented residents from gathering and discussing demarcation issues. 

Community leaders said they would be meeting on Monday.

Community spokesperson Nsovo Sambo said they had made an application to the high court on Monday, as the community plans its way forward regarding a municipal boundary fight.

"The high court has granted us permission to gather and [we] will be gathering at Nandoni soccer ground," said Sambo.

Residents have been protesting since last year against the Municipal Demarcation Board's decision to incorporate their area into LIM 345, a new municipality. 

This month, a school administration block was burnt down four days after fresh violence erupted in Vuwani over the boundary dispute.

The Tshirhunzanani Primary School in Vuwani’s Vyeboom section was torched days after the demarcation board rejected the community's appeal to review its decision.

Further protests were thwarted by police.

Education

Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said it was disappointed about the torching, saying they thought the destruction of property was over. 

He expressed worries about the impact of the damaged school when schools reopen.

Last year, more than 24 schools were burnt when residents protested after their bid to remain under the Makhado municipality was rejected by the high court.

They suspended the protest in August after they successfully boycotted the local government elections and they wrote to the Municipal Demarcation Board to have the decision reviewed.

However, the demarcation board recently rejected the community's proposal for a review.

Residents are now accusing government of betraying their trust.

Sambo said Monday's meeting will pave the way forward over decision made by residents.

Protests were suspended for the Easter holidays.

But there are now fresh fears that schooling may not take place if residents resolve to shut down the township and surrounding villages.


Read more on:    polokwane  |  protests  |  local government  |  education

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