State intelligence knew about Vuwani, Malamulele violence a year in advance - Mahlobo

2017-07-05 11:13
State Security Minister David Mahlobo. Picture: Lulama Zenzile

State Security Minister David Mahlobo. Picture: Lulama Zenzile

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Johannesburg - State Security Minister and NEC member David Mahlobo was laughed at by journalists on Tuesday night when he said the government knew a year in advance about the protests in Vuwani and Malamulele.

Mahlobo was briefing reporters on the ANC’s discussions on the proposed policies on peace and stability commissions. 

“We knew a year before about Malamulele and Vuwani,” Mahlobo said.

His statement was followed by laughter from the reporters, who appeared not to believe him.

He went on to explain that due to the sensitive nature of intelligence gathering, he could not explain how the State went about gathering such knowledge. He then said due to the sporadic and spontaneous act of public violence, it was not easy to arrest perpetrators.


Residents had been protesting since the Municipal Demarcation Board moved Vuwani and surrounding areas into the Lim 345 municipality, from the Makhado municipality. In April 2016, they lost a court bid to remain in Makhado. More than 20 schools were burnt and schooling disrupted for months during violent protests in 2016.

The municipality was expected to be renamed Collins Chabane Municipality after the late former Minister of Public Services and Administration Collins Chabane, who hailed from the region.

It was formed out of a merger between Malamulele, Vuwani and Hlanganani areas.

In April this year, protests resurfaced.

In an attempt to quell the protests, newly appointed Police Minister Fikile Mbalula told Vuwani residents that the decision over the demarcation had been made and could not be reversed, and that protest action should end and pave a way for peace.

The following month, President Jacob Zuma was expected to make an announcement on a new decision over the municipal boundary disputes. 

Zuma met King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana of Vha-Venda, and other interested parties, to find amicable solutions to the Vuwani demarcation dispute.

However, was a no show and a number of people were arrested after at least seven cars were damaged by stones pelted.

Initially, it was reported that this decision was made because Zuma's safety could not be guaranteed. The presidency later claimed in a statement that he did not go because not everyone affected by the establishment of the new municipality was present.

Read more on:    david mahlobo  |  polokwane  |  protests  |  anc policy  |  ancpolicy17  |  politics

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