Children to return to school after minister intervenes

2012-09-04 09:57

Children in Olifantshoek, Northern Cape, are expected to return to their classrooms tomorrow after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa intervened in a standoff between the Gamagara Local Municipality and residents of the town that led to closing of three schools.

Mthethwa visited the area yesterday and urged residents to allow learners to return to school.

Three schools – a high school and two primary schools – were closed down by residents who are demanding the resignation of the mayor, Maria Diniza.

Residents are accusing Diniza of “not delivering” and corruption. Diniza said she will not resign and invited the community to investigate her.

“The municipality’s finances are in a good state and I will not resign as if I am guilty”, she said.

Zweli Mnisi, spokesperson for Mthethwa, said the minister’s visit was mainly to engage with residents and to ask them to refrain from violence and vandalising buildings.

Three houses including Diniza’s and that of John Taolo Gaetsewe District Mayor Sofia Mosikatsi were torched.

Mnisi said Mthethwa had a very tense meeting with the residents and all stakeholders.

A task team, consisting of members of the community, has been appointed to address service delivery complaints.

Mnisi said Mthethwa also made an undertaking to the community that he will return to Olifantshoek soon to monitor progress of the process.

He said the visit will take place during this month.

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