Alex residents chase MMC Michael Sun away, demand to be addressed by Mayor Mashaba

2019-04-03 15:45
Protests rock Alexandra. (Thabang Mathibedi)

Protests rock Alexandra. (Thabang Mathibedi)

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Attempts by City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Safety Michael Sun to address residents in Alexandra on Wednesday afternoon were met with boos and rejection.

Sun went ahead with his address, even after being told by community leaders that they didn't want him. Instead, they demanded that Mayor Herman Mashaba come speak to them.

Sun, who went to Alexandra in a JMPD nyala under heavy police escort, attempted to address the crowd, who chanted slogans, some tinged with racist insults.

A few minutes later, Sun emerged from the vehicle and walked away, protected by a heavy police guard.

Lockdown

Ward councillor Adolf Marema said they were adamant that Mashaba must address them.

"We want Mashaba, not Sun. He is an ordinary MMC, not a mayor. Mashaba is our mayor and he must come and address us. We are being ignored by Mashaba, who sent Sun to address us. We are not criminals here. Sun deals with criminals, not service delivery protests," he said.

Streets and main roads in the township remain under lockdown after residents blocked them with burning tyres and various objects early on Wednesday morning.

READ: Alexandra under total shutdown

Police played a cat and mouse game with residents, firing rubber bullets and teargas canisters in attempts to remove them from the streets. Residents retaliated by throwing stones and empty bottles at the police.

Sun earlier told the media that he would go ahead with his address to residents, despite the threat of rejection.

"I have engaged with the mayor and he delegated me to represent him here in Alexandra. He didn't say he won't be able to address them. I am worried about the number of children who have joined the protest. I am going to call for them to go away," said Sun.

South African Human Rights Commission manager in Gauteng, Buang Jones, shared Sun's concern that pupils were being prevented from going to school.

"We are aware that every protest hinders on rights of others. We are not going to allow the rights of other citizens who are not protesting to be impacted," said Jones.

Invasion of RDP homes

Special adviser in the office of Premier David Makhura, Eric Xayiya, said residents had raised their concerns a month ago.

"We are worried about the level of lawlessness and the systematic invasion of RDP houses.

"There is vacant land that has been identified by housing, that has also been invaded. Some people are building houses on that piece of land. We understand what residents are demanding, but we call on the municipality to implement by-laws to prevent lawlessness from happening," Xayiya said.

Self-proclaimed "prophet" Paseka Mboro Motsoeneng was initially turned away after he tried to join the protest. After engaging with community leaders, he was allowed to take part.

Motsoeneng claimed that he was there to support residents and was concerned about their service delivery issues.

Read more on:    da  |  michael sun  |  herman mashaba  |  johannesburg  |  protests  |  service delivery
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