Leaders accused of onslaught on women

2018-06-06 06:01
Disgruntled ANC Frances Baard branch members blockaded the entrance to the Frances Baard District Municipality on Tuesday (29/05) in protest of the axing of females in Kimberley.Photos: Boipelo Mere

Disgruntled ANC Frances Baard branch members blockaded the entrance to the Frances Baard District Municipality on Tuesday (29/05) in protest of the axing of females in Kimberley.Photos: Boipelo Mere

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Disgruntled ANC Frances Baard branch members blockaded the entrance to the Frances Baard District Municipality on Tuesday, 29 May, in protest of the axing of females in Kimberley.

They demanded to know why the ANC leadership decided to axe hard working members, like Elizabeth Johnson and Vuyiswa Ximba.

The announcement was made by the ANC Francis Baard Region on Thursday, 24 May.

Johnson is the speaker of the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality and Ximba the executive mayor of the Frances Baard District Municipality.

The two reportedly still refuse to tender their resignation, leaving chances high that two additional mayors will be paid, unless much pressure is used against them.

At the Frances Baard District Municipality, the new mayor, Wende Marekwa, was sworn in on Tuesday morning before he tabled the budget speech.

According to the protesters, more women are on the list to be axed in local and provincial government positions like Premier Sylvia Lucas, MEC for Education Martha Bartlett and MEC for Sports Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba.

The protesters staged another protest at the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality on Wednesday, 30 May, to stop what they regarded as the unlawful removal of Johnson, who was to be replaced with Ingrid Koopman.

They regard the axing as an onslaught against women by leaders who run a one-man show and dictatorship.

Stun grenades were used by the police to clear the exit for Marekwa and his delegation to pass the members, who plan to put pressure on the ANC leadership to reinstate the axed women.

A counter protest was staged at the Speaker’s (Johnson) home in Roodepan on Thursday morning, who demanded her to step down.

The members, who burned tyres, accused the defiant speaker of embarrassing the ANC. Continued factionalism within the province is evident as the leadership is accused of not honouring the call by Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa for the collapse of cores.

“They stole the regional and provincial conference and we let it go, now they fire women only because they supported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

“We do not belong to any factions, we are concerned women from different wards and members of the Youth League who will not allow continuous plotting and purging,” said a Youth League member who wants to remain anonymous.

“Let them open a debate and inform us what is so bad that those women have done.

“If they have done something wrong, what about the mistakes males have made,” lashed Madede Wapad, a ward councillor. “We are not bringing politics into this protest but we stand up as women.”

The protesters agree with the DA’s call for Sol Plaatje’s Mayor Mangaliso Matika to go for increasingly holding the council hostage and compromising the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality.

They commended Johnson’s proactive response towards her community whenever there were protests.

The DA called on the remo­val of Matika, whom they accused of holding the municipality at ransom.

“Matika previously used his influence to prevent Johnson from doing her job. This was evident in the way in which he manipulated council agendas and proactively saw to it that the opposition was silenced,” DA leader Andrew Louw said.

The ANC had made the announcement to the media on Friday (01/06) that discomfort on the image portrayed at municipalities based on conducts, led to the redeployments.

Without revealing much on their reasons for the deployments the ANC stated: “We want to put it on record that corrupt and selfish employees will be recalled by the party if they are found to have viola­ted the code of conduct as set out in the municipal laws.”

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