ANC prepared to resolve Vuwani stalemate - Mantashe

2017-04-30 06:01
Gwede Mantashe

Gwede Mantashe

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe says the ANC has an appetite to resolve the demarcation debacles of the troubled Vuwani communities in Limpopo, just like it is doing in the Matatiele Municipality – incorporating the latter back into KwaZulu-Natal from the Eastern Cape.

This week, the ANC announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Independent Congress for the incorporation of Matatiele back into KwaZulu-Natal.

The ANC has been accused of being more prepared to settle the Matatiele demarcation problem because the matter is aligned to the future of the Ekurhuleni mayor – and being less dedicated to finding solutions for Vuwani.

Mantashe condemned acts of violence – including the torching of more than 30 schools in Vuwani – after some community members, led by the pro-Makhado demarcation task team, distanced themselves from the new Malamulele municipality, known as Lim345, in the Vhembe district.

The task team want Vuwani areas to be returned to Makhado and Thulamela municipalities.

Mantashe said: “They want to meet us, but they burn schools and damage public property. Our doors have always been open.

"All they must do is to come to Luthuli House and meet us. But it cannot be correct when they resort to violence. The people in Matatiele did not burn schools to address their issues. Peaceful talks are not difficult, therefore they must come.”

He said this after the pro-Makhado task team refused to meet with the ANC provincial leadership in Limpopo last Thursday.

“We have been lied to for too long"

Premier Stan Mathabatha led a delegation to discuss the situation with residents in the Vuwani community hall. It comprised Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and an interministerial task team, led by Co-Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen.

However, residents snubbed the meeting.

“We are keen to meet them anytime and will prioritise them,” said Mantashe.

“Nothing cannot be resolved, but they must stop burning schools and allow children to go to school. They must refrain from damaging public property.”

Local Chief Mbangiseni Masia, of Masia village in one of the affected areas, confirmed that a meeting would take place on Monday at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

President Jacob Zuma would meet with Venda monarch King Mphephu Ramabulana and a delegation of local traditional leaders

Arnold Mulaudzi, deputy chairperson of the pro-Makhado task team, reiterated their call that residents wanted Mathabatha and the entire provincial Cabinet to step down.

“We have been lied to for too long. You cannot even celebrate 23 years of democracy because you are being marginalised by your own black government.”

He expressed his anger after last Thursday’s visit by Mbalula and Van Rooyen.

“Their presence did not make any difference to us. We do not want to meet them because they are full of themselves and empty promises have been the order of the day.

"We signed a memorandum of understanding with government, including its task team, but still they didn’t keep their promise to stop this process of Lim345,” Mulaudzi said.

“We no longer want to engage with anybody but President Zuma because we have noted that most of these politicians are pursuing their own selfish interests.”

Van Rooyen said the decision by the demarcation board was final.

Mulaudzi insisted that before last year’s local elections, Mathabatha had promised that his administration would reverse the demarcation decision.

The premier has denied this allegation several times.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed that a case of culpable homicide had been opened after two people died when the car they were travelling in crashed into a steel pipe used by Vuwani protesters to barricade a road.

Provincial government spokesperson Phuti Seloba said: “The Municipal Demarcation Board has been on record saying that the Vuwani demarcation issue is done and dusted.

“The provincial government cannot be expected to undermine the board’s decision, including the Limpopo High Court and Constitutional High Court rulings.”

MEC for Education Ishmael Kgetjepe said the Limpopo provincial government would spend more than R450 million to repair the more than 30 schools that had been torched and vandalised in Vuwani since the shutdown last year.

Read more on:    anc  |  gwede ­mantashe  |  vuwani  |  education

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.