Fuming Bekkersdal shows ANC the door

2014-03-13 18:15

ANC bigwigs were chased out of Bekkersdal township by angry residents during the party’s door-to-door campaign today.

Police had to be called in to disperse the angry crowd, which attacked the ANC entourage consisting of several members of the Gauteng Legislature including ANC Chief Whip in the Gauteng Legislature Brian Hlongwa and deputy speaker Uhuru Moiloa.

When City Press arrived in the volatile township, ANC supporters stood a few hundred metres away from where the angry mob was guarded by armed police officers.

The mob accused the ANC of being opportunists who don’t care about the livelihood of the people of Bekkersdal but their votes.

One protester told City Press: “The ANC has a nerve to come and try to woo people who they said they did not want their dirty votes.

“They will never get our votes until Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane apologise in public for saying that our votes are dirty,” she said.

Hlongwa described the situation in a statement as, “anarchy, which will derail democratic progress in Bekkersdal”.

He said: “There can never be a concept of ‘no go areas’ in a democratic society.”

“It is unacceptable that schooling should be disrupted at will the way it was done today and legitimate public representatives being barred from doing their work.”

But, residents have vowed to bar the ANC from campaigning in the area until their demands are met. The demands include a public apology from Mokonyane and the removal from office of the mayor of Westonaria, under which Bekkersdal falls. They accuse Nonkoliso Tundzi of corruption, which they say has led to poor service delivery in the area.

However, Hlongwa said in a statement that the provincial government together with the Greater Westonaria Concerned Residents Association have agreed on how to resolve the issues raised by the community.

He said: “Clearly, there are commitments and programmes to deal with the challenges at least from the part of government, but I think as caucus we should ensure that these processes are accelerated.

“This would mean that we must continue to engage the residents of Bekkersdal and also ensure the leadership of the aggrieved also take responsibility,” Hlongwa said.

A 61-year-old woman, who claimed to be a staunch ANC member, said the ANC had fooled people for too long and was reaping what it had sowed.

“People are sick and tired of empty promises. Our children are unemployed in an area rich with mineral resources while their jobs are given to outsiders,” she said.

Another resident, Papi Radebe, said: “Last year, the ANC told us they do not need our dirty votes.

“What has changed between then and now?”

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