Msimanga must reveal what he knows about 'protest instigators' - ANC Tshwane

2017-02-26 15:05
ANC Tshwane spokesperson Teboho Joala (Photo supplied)

ANC Tshwane spokesperson Teboho Joala (Photo supplied)

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Johannesburg – The ANC in Tshwane says Mayor Solly Msimanga must explain why he met with protesters in Atteridgeville ahead of their violent march to the city’s centre.

Msimanga told News24 on Friday that he had gone to address protesters in the township west of the country’s capital to understand why they had blockaded roads and were preventing children and community members from going to school and work.

“We noticed that Msimanga went to meet a certain group in Atteridgeville yet the people who had applied for the march were from Mamelodi,” ANC Tshwane spokesperson Teboho Joala said.

Joala said Msimanga spoke to a group in Lotus in the early hours of the morning and when those people marched from the area, they left a trail of destruction behind them.

“Those who marched from the West had pangas and all types of weapons, they looted shops, destroyed property and intimidated foreign nationals,” he said.

We were surprised that the group the mayor had met with did that, added Joala.

Parts of Tshwane were brought to a standstill as locals demonstrated against immigrants, East of the city a group calling itself the Mamelodi Concerned Residents marched to the Department of Home Affairs to hand over a memorandum while in Atteridgeville protesters threw rocks, burned tyres and allegedly looted shops belonging to foreign nationals.

Both the ANC and Msimanga have denounced the violence, yet have also expressed an understanding of people’s frustrations with growing crime.

“We condemn the violence; the ANC is always at the forefront of those calling for an end to xenophobia and xenophobic violence,” said Joala.

Msimanga said on Saturday he knew that some of the people behind the recent spate of violence were also involved in violent demonstrations ahead of the local government elections in 2016.

"The same people responsible for the Thoko Didiza saga were blocking W F Nkomo street," Msimanga told News24.

He was referring to what was dubbed "Tshwane Burning" when violent protests broke out in the townships. The ANC had announced long-standing member Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate ahead of last year's local government elections amidst factional battles between the party’s leaders in the region.

Explain the white Camry

Msimanga said the same white Camry which had been seen doing the rounds and dropping off tyres during Tshwane Burning was seen doing the same thing on Friday.

“He must tell us of the Camry owner,” said Joala.

We challenged him to reveal names of those who orchestrated the violence before and are doing it again. He says he knows who they are,” said Joala.

Msimanga must report those involved to the authorities, he continued.

He also blamed the Tshwane mayor of taking the same stance as his Johannesburg counterpart.

Herman Mashaba has been blamed by some, including the ANC at national level for sparking the protests over comments he made that illegal immigrants should leave his city.

“This is a continuation of their approach to foreign nationals in the country, as recently shown by Mashaba in Johannesbsurg,” said Joala.

Msimanga’s presence before the violent march is a clear indication that the DA is at the forefront of chasing away foreign nationals, he said.

Msimanga in defending his position told News24 on Sunday that when he met with protesters in Atteridgeville, there were already blockages and he was the person who managed to get protesters to open up the roads.

“The violence didn’t take place there, it happened in Marabastad in town,” he said.

He added that there was a criminal element in the grouping but the Mamelodi residents refused to allow their march to become embroiled in violence, hence there were two separate groups in the city centre.

Msimanga also said he had submitted names of those he believed to be responsible for the mayhem to police, saying he had done this more than once.

On the ANC’s claims that his political party had a position on foreign nationals the mayor accused the ANC of attempting to score political points from the situation

“We don’t chase away people. The ANC is hiding behind things happening now,” he said.

Msimanga said the ANC had failed to bring  real change to people’s lives since taking power in 1994.

“They need to answer as to why have they not made material changes to people’s lives over the past 22 years. There is still little opportunity for them to better their lives and now we are beginning to address this,” said Msimanga.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  solly msimanga  |  herman mashaba

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