'Expect more mayhem'

2013-08-08 00:00

PROTESTERS from parts of Richmond have threatened to make the small town ungovernable if their demand for the council’s executive committee (Exco) to be replaced is not met.

The group has embarked on a series of purported service delivery strikes in the town. However, it was made clear at a meeting on Tuesday night that they wanted Mayor Andrew Ragavaloo, Speaker Thulani Shabalala and councillor Douglas Kunene replaced. Shots were fired at Ragavaloo’s house after a previous community meeting on July 22.

The protesters were called to a meeting with regional ANC leaders and the executive committee members on Tuesday night.

ANC regional secretary Supa Zuma said the meeting became “robust” when residents saw that the party’s regional executive committee was not going to accede to their demand for Ragavaloo and his colleagues to be sacked.

Zuma said a number of allegations were made about the councillors. “We said we could not dismiss people based on allegations that were not backed up, and if anyone had proof, they were welcome to bring it forward. We were told to do our own investigation,” he said.

Zuma said the crowd became rowdy when the regional delegation did not give in to this demand.

With Zuma at the meeting were ANC Moses Mabhida region chairperson Alpha Shelembe and other local ANC leaders, including Finance MEC Ina Cronjé.

Zuma said the delegation had gone to Richmond to learn the residents’ grievances and decide how they could be resolved.

“The issue of the taxi fare increase came up and we explained that negotiations had been held with the taxi industry and those increases were not going to be implemented,” he said.

The community also complained of the conduct of police sent to the town to monitor the protests, saying they were too rough on people. Zuma said the ANC would address the issue with the police service.

Residents also had service delivery grievances. “In this respect we found that there was a lack of communication between the ward councillor and the residents. Many of the things they complained about were already being taken care of.”

Zuma said the crowd got angry when their final grievance — the removal of the Exco — was addressed and accused the ANC leaders of not being interested in their plight.

“The leadership was very firm. We said we would investigate if the allegations could be substantiated.”

ANC insiders said they were convinced that the complaints against the Exco members concerned a power struggle in the town and were not about service delivery issues.

“This is one faction within the council trying to unseat the other,” said an ANC member who would not be named.

Negotiations within the community, facilitated by the ANC leaders, would continue.

Yesterday, the protesting residents joined staff at a local supermarket who were on strike after being locked out of work following failed wage negotiations.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.