Don't use children to fight violent protest battles - Cabinet

2017-04-28 20:03
Newly appointed Minister of Communication Ayanda Dlodlo (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Newly appointed Minister of Communication Ayanda Dlodlo (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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Cape Town - Cabinet has called on South African communities not to use children and schools as negotiation tools in various violent protests around the country.

Following Wednesday's Cabinet meeting, the executive is concerned by the recent upswing of violence in Vuwani, Lichtenburg, Blydeville and Coligny, new Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told reporters in Pretoria.

"Cabinet strongly condemns the use of our children as [a] negotiation tool, the weeks of school shutdown dampens the future of these children who are placed under additional stress," she said of the Vuwani violence on Friday.

In Coligny, Dlodlo called for citizens to allow the police to finish their investigation into the death of a child, and to not take the law into their own hands.

The alleged murder of the boy, who authorities believe was 12 years old, was apparently the reason for violent protests in the area this week when residents went on a rampage, burning and looting businesses.

The boy has still not been identified, a source close to the case told News24 on Friday.

Sadness

Cabinet also called for calm and stability in Lichtenburg and Blydeville townships in the North West, where schooling was disrupted, shops were looted and property burnt.

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo has appointed a team of five MECs and two mayors to investigate the service delivery challenges in the area, Dlodlo said.

"Violence, intimidation, vandalism, or actions that lead to schools being destroyed or learners deprived from going to school has no place in our democracy."

Cabinet also expressed its sadness and shock at the passing of 18 school pupils and two adults in a minibus taxi accident in Bronkhorstspruit at the weekend.

It thanked the NGOs, professionals and businesses who have supported the affected families from Mahlenga High School and Refano Primary school.

"The road carnage, particularly during school holidays in South Africa, remains a pressing national concern.

"Reckless and negligent driving are unacceptable and all South Africans are urged to take personal responsibility for their safety on our roads."

Read more on:    ayanda dlodlo  |  accidents  |  protests

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