2018-05-04 06:00

FREEDOM greetings to you.

We have concluded our freedom month celebrations under the theme


The first democratic elections on April 27, 1994 gave birth to our constitutional democracy.

It led to the emergence of a national identity built on a respect for each other and our love for the country. Since then, we have embarked on a joint journey to build a country, and in our case a local government that puts people first.

While much has been achieved over the last 24 years, our freedom remains incomplete in many ways than one. As the municipality, we are advancing radical socio-economic transformation to create the type of society envisioned in the National Development Plan.

You would remember that this year’s celebration coincides with the centenary anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. These struggle stalwarts epitomised our struggle for liberation. South Africa is the country it is today because of their countless sacrifices and that of many other South Africans who fought tirelessly to overcome the brutal apartheid system.

The month of April provided a platform for us to reflect on the progress we have made thus far in transforming our society. It was Nelson Mandela who once said: “Let us never be mindful of the terrible past from which we come, memory should not be used as a means to keep us shackled to the past in a negative manner, rather as a joyous reminder of how far we have come and how much we have achieved.”


Tuesday, April 24, saw the Matatiele municipal area and the entire Eastern Cape Province benefit from the 48 police vehicles handed over to various clusters in the province. This, after a grand handover ceremony by the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Weziwe Tikana, the provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Ntshinga, SAPS management and Matatiele Local Municipality Speaker Councillor Nomasomi Mshuqwana.

This gesture is towards the realization of the SAPS mission i.e enhancing police visibility and ensuring thorough and responsive investigation of every crime.

The allocation of vehicles per cluster is as follows: Aliwal North received eight vehicles, Cofimvaba 11, Mount Ayliff three, Mount Fletcher two, Mqanduli three, Mthatha three, Port St Johns four, and Queenstown 12.

Maluti which falls under Mt Fletcher cluster received one vehicle to intensify their fight against crime.

Welcoming more than 200 SAPS senior officials who started painting our streets in blue on Monday conducting road blocks and searches in liquor stores, the speaker of
Matatiele LM Councillor Mshuqwana said that these vehicles will go a long way in ensuring that police attend to the safety of our people effectively and efficiently.

Mshuqwana also warned police officers in the Eastern Cape to refrain from using state vehicles to do “grocery shopping”.

“Those who are in the habit of using police vehicles for doing their grocery shopping and for social purpose must desist at once,” Mshuqwana said.

MEC Tikana said it was difficult to arrest criminals in a rural and poor province such as the Eastern Cape.

“This is simply because SAPS members do not have enough cars to attend to crime scenes or reach them timeously. I urge SAPS members to use these cars with a great deal of care and realise that abusing state vehicles is wrong and is a betrayal of our people. You must use these vehicles to service the people with the dignity and diligence they deserve.”

The MEC also took turn to discourage communities from protesting and urged government to open clear lines of engagement with the aggrieved groups. The vehicles include three 16 seater buses, 41 LCV Nissan Hi-Riders and two LCV Ford Rangers.
“We are a Destination of Choice and Excellence.”


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