Battle boils over in Waterloo

2017-02-09 06:01
Protestors carrying placards outside Waterloo Community Centre.

Protestors carrying placards outside Waterloo Community Centre.

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WATERLOO residents are at loggerheads with the former ANC Ward 106 councillor Mxolisi Ndzimbomvu, who they accuse of hijacking a community centre and using it for his political agenda.

Residents took to the streets last Friday demanding Ndzimbomvu and his supporters leave the premises immediately.

They also accuse Ndzimbomvu of meddling in development affairs in the ward.

More than 300 residents wearing political T-shirts and carrying placards gathered at the Waterloo Sports Ground and marched to the centre where they demanded that Ndzimbomvu leave the offices.

Muzi Zikhali said: "The centre was donated by the people from Australia to the community of Waterloo. But, it has been hijacked by ANC supporters and Ndzimbomvu.
“The former councillor refuses to budge despite our numerous attempts to get rid of him. All we want is to see the Waterloo Community Centre functioning properly and accessible to the community.
“Ndzimbomvu is no longer a councillor, in that vein he must stop abusing community resources. We want the centre to serve its purpose, which is to cater for all people irrespective of their political affiliations.
“Ndzimbomvu lost the elections last year and is now a PR councillor in Ward 25, he shouldn’t be occupying the office in Waterloo.”

A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters Tholithemba Mthiyane said: "As the members of the EFF in Ward 106 we support the residents in their attempt to kick out Ndzimbomvu from Waterloo Community Centre.
“It is shocking to see the ruling party abusing its powers in this manner. Recently the centre has become the headquarters of the ANC in Waterloo, which is totally unacceptable because the centre was given to the community and not to party politics. We want the centre to be given back to the community.”

Inside the premises a group of more 200 people wearing ANC T-shirts sat peacefully as Ndzimbomvu and his right-hand-woman Nadia Phiri kept an eye on them.

One of the protestors said: “Ndzimbomvu recruits his friends from other areas to work for EPWP [Expanded Public Works Programme]. Mxolisi must fall.”

Community leader Vusi Khwela said: “We are denied access to the centre simply because we are not members of the ANC. The former councillor must stop meddling in issues pertaining to development in Waterloo because he is no longer a councillor.”

A memorandum was handed to Desmond Myeza from the speaker’s office.
Myeza addressed the residents and promised to come back with answers after two weeks.

In a memorandum that is in the possession of Coastal Weekly, the protestors demanded that EPWP workers be dismissed, ward councillor Johnson Chetty to be hands-on in matters pertaining to community development and the centre to be accessible to the public.

Chetty told the Weekly: “In the dark days of apartheid, people were suppressed. When Nelson Mandela walked out from prison and in collaboration with others, this nation was freed from bondage.
“Now 22 years after democracy we find that people are still in bondage because the ruling party has too much power. They think they can do as they please because they are in power. The community centre was built for the people and not party politics. The people must access this facility to get help from municipal or government service.”

Ndzimbomvu rubbished the allegations and said the protestors were driven by political agendas.
“They [protestors] are not community members, rather they are people who have political aspirations for leadership. We have three PR councillors occupying the centre and they applied in time to the municipality. The protestors should have applied in advance to occupy the offices. There is nothing we can do to help them.”

Police spokesperson in Verulam Captain Mark Prakasim said the protest was peaceful.
“The protestors dispersed peacefully after handing over a memorandum to a representative from the speaker’s office.”

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