Community fixes for a fight over fixing of hall

2014-06-20 00:00

A SIMPLE project to renovate a community hall in the Hopewell area almost turned deadly yesterday as irate community members, some armed with pangas and other deadly weapons, clashed.

Several police vehicles were deployed to monitor the scene and guard those working on the project. By 3 pm there were still at least four vehicles keeping the peace.

Sources told The Witness that some community members were carrying pangas and bush knives as the situation threatened to turn violent.

Several people claimed they had been assaulted and the police confirmed that one person had opened a case of assault.

Independent ward councillor Msizi Magubane said he and the community had been undermined by the way the project was handled, adding this was because he was an independent councillor.

He said the community was not pleased with the manner in which employment on the project had been handled.

Magubane said this was the third time they had been sidelined on a project implemented in that area.

Thulani Shabalala, speaker of the Richmond Municipality, said Magubane was deliberately being difficult and was “on a crusade” to stop this project, adding he would still meet with Magubane as his chairperson.

He said Magubane had attended all the meetings where the project was planned.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said police were investigating a case of assault after a 33-year-old man was assaulted there.

He said no one had been arrested.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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