Protests halted

2018-10-17 06:00
Young and old residents of Seven Days up in arms, demanding answers to an unfinished upgrading project of streets in the area. The project has been delayed for almost two years now.Photo: Mlungisi Louw

Young and old residents of Seven Days up in arms, demanding answers to an unfinished upgrading project of streets in the area. The project has been delayed for almost two years now.Photo: Mlungisi Louw

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There is calm for now in the trouble-ridden Seven Days settlement in Bloemfontein after violent protest turned the area into a no-go zone.

Violent actions by unhappy voters was quelled in the fourth day after law enforcement agents, that included the police, were unleashed to arrest protesters. Violence resurfaced on Tuesday night 9 October and ended on Friday (12/10).

The police reportedly arrested two people, who were apparently identified as instigators of the protest. The two culprits have reportedly been released on free bail while the police continued their hunt for seven more alleged instigators.

Following actions by law enforcements, residents in the area have returned to their “normal life” of having to navigate their way through open trenches in streets.

The open trenches are due to an unfinished upgrading project of about seven streets. The project driven by the Mangaung Metro Municipality, to chiefly improve the lives of the people in this area, was halted shortly after it started in 2016. It abruptly stopped after job-seeking voters in this area of Ward 3 had a fall-out with Cllr Khosi Mogapi whom they accused of alleged nepotism, hiring people favouring her.

However, steadfast Mogapi has since denied any wrong amidst constant accusation against her.

Violent protest has become second nature in this area through which residents express their frustration over the incomplete upgrading of the street project and demanding they be given first preference to jobs created through the project in Ward 3.

Express was reliably informed that a meeting between representatives of concerned residents of Seven Days and the Mangaung Metro’s Deputy Mayor Lebohang Masoetsa, is scheduled to take place this week. The meeting is aimed at getting clarity and a way forward on the long-overdue upgrading project which has become a bone of contention between the voters and the current leadership of the municipality.

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