Protestors say councillor must go

2017-11-29 06:01
Residents of Ward 8 in Kimberley take their frustrations to the streets, demanding that their ward councillor, Charles Ngoma, resigns. Photo: Supplied

Residents of Ward 8 in Kimberley take their frustrations to the streets, demanding that their ward councillor, Charles Ngoma, resigns. Photo: Supplied

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Kopanong Branch ward councillor Charles Ngoma is once again facing an angry crowd, as residents in his ward call for his resignation due to his alleged “laziness”.

They complain that the councillor does not hold community meetings and that there is no development in their ward.

Angry residents took to the streets on Monday, 20 November and Wednesday (22/11), accusing the Sol Plaatje mayor, Mangaliso Matika, of protecting Ngoma.

They accuse Matika, who met with them on both days, of being arrogant in an effort to protect Ngoma.

They refuse to accept the mayor’s response that he, “does not have the powers to call a ward councillor and that the powers lie with the ANC”.

This sparked outrage, leading to the residents, mostly from John Daka, taking their anger to the streets on Wednesday night after being addressed by the mayor.

Roads were barricaded with rocks, debris and burning tyres, from John Daka to Riviera, in an attempt to push for Ngoma’s resignation.

This resulted in the police shooting the protesters with stun grenades and rubber bullets, leading to three people being injured.

Protestors accuse the police of shooting for no reason, while the police responded that they were retaliating after being attacked with stones and bottles. Sgt Majang Skalkie says that no arrests were made, while a case of hindering traffic on public roads is being investigated.

The protesters accuse Ngoma of being a schemer and dealer who uses vulnerable people to score votes. They claim they do not know how he became a councillor, as they did not want him in the first place.

Ngoma is no stranger to controversy, as he was facing the same situation in February last year, when some of the community wanted to block him from running for a third term as councillor of Ward 8.

The protesting residents accuse him of using “Mugabe tactics” and of not giving other leaders a chance.

The protesters claim that they delivered a petition on Tuesday, 21 November, containing over 1 600 names to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the ANC offices, the Office of the Premier, the mayor’s office, the speaker’s office and the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta).

They threatened to return to the streets if the councillor is not removed within the week.

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