'It's comrade against comrade'

2009-11-23 00:00

A COMMUNITY meeting, intended to finalise public support for an up-coming service delivery protest march, turned chaotic yesterday afternoon when warring Mpofana residents turned on each other and disrupted the proceedings.

Pandemonium was the order of the day at Bruntville Community Hall as rowdy residents hurled insults at each other and almost came to blows on numerous occasions.

Ironically, police officers manning the proceedings from outside, in case of disruptions from those opposing the gathering, were forced to enter the hall and keep watch.

Members of the Phumlasi Development Committee (PDC) had initiated the meeting in order to discuss the way forward regarding this Saturday’s protest march. The aim of the march is to demand the removal of Mpofana Municipality councillors and managers, to protest against poor service delivery, complain about non-existent social and economic development, and to object against poor administration as well as nepotism.

One of the organisers of the march, Sifiso Madlala, said they were forced to organise police protection before the march, to protect those who decided to attend against people who would intimidate them out of attending.

Some residents who atten­ded were not happy about the regular disruptions and even stood up during the meeting to voice their displeasure.

Said one resident: “… It’s comrade against comrade and we didn’t come here for that. We shouldn’t have to be here and have people from our own community intimidate us.”

Although the meeting was poorly attended, with approximately 150 residents at most, the PDC will forge ahead with this Saturday’s march as they expect more residents to take part.

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