Matatiele residents vow to fight on

2010-06-24 00:00

RESIDENTS of Matatiele and Maluti are planning to open a “political front” in their fight to be re-incorporated into the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

This was revealed by Musa Gcabo, chairperson of Matatiele/Maluti Mass-action Organisation Committee (MAOC), following an unsuccessful meeting with the department of Co-operative Governance on Tuesday.

“We are currently writing a letter to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, as we want to meet the ANC and appeal to them to resolve this matter urgently.

“We are tired of being sent from pillar to post. We demand finality on this issue as it has continued unresolved for a very long time,” Gcabo said.

The fight against the incorporation of the area into the Eastern Cape started in 2005, and in December that year the area was incorporated into the Eastern Cape despite the objections of local residents.

Gcabo said they were disappointed that Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka was not available to attend Tuesday’s meeting, although they had made a strong request for him to be present.

“Only the special advisor to Minister Shiceka, Nhlakanipho Nkontwana, attended the meeting. We pointed out that during a referendum conducted last year, 89% of our population preferred this area to be re-incorporated into KZN,” Gcabo said.

He said that besides the lack of basic service delivery by the Eastern Cape provincial government, the reason they want to be incorporated into KZN is taht most of people in the area belong to the amaHlubi tribe and their inkosi is based in Estcourt, which is in KwaZulu-Natal.

Gcabo said that most people in the area do their shopping in KZN.

People of Matatiele were dealt a severe blow earlier this year when their court case was dismissed by the Constitutional Court on the grounds that the matter is not within the court’s jurisdiction.

“In our battle for re-incorporation to KZN, our delegation visited ANC president Jacob Zuma’s home in Inkandla and he promised the matter would be resolved amicably. But we were later contacted by the Co-operative Governance Department. Now that our meeting with them failed to resolve the impasse, we are going to pursue it through political engagement,” Gcabo said.

 

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