Tribalism, fear still the order of the day in Vuwani

2016-07-17 08:29
DA Ward councillor candidate Mbulayeni Rambau (Noxolo Mafu, News24)

DA Ward councillor candidate Mbulayeni Rambau (Noxolo Mafu, News24)

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Vuwani- Tribalism and fear continue to grip certain parts of Vuwani in Limpopo with some residents afraid to speak out against problems in the area.

"I'm a Tsonga person in a Venda area, I don’t feel comfortable talking on camera,” one person told News24.

"There are a lot of problems in the area but because of the cultural dynamics that exist we are afraid of talking out."

The source was but one of many people who spoke about the strain caused by the tribalistic divides in the community.  

“Do you guys know about the conflict between the Tsongas and Vendas in the area? I’m Tsonga and I would rather keep quiet and not get caught in the middle,” she said.

The area has been in the spotlight for some months now over the proposed plan to move communities in Vuwani from Makhado into a new municipality that will incorporate Malamulele.

In May this year, communities from a cluster of villages surrounding Vuwani in Limpopo went on the rampage following a failed legal attempt to reverse the new demarcation boundaries approved by the Municipal Demarcation Board.

Twenty-four schools were torched and education came to a halt in the area. There is still no schooling for those in Grade 11 and below. But matriculants have been taken to different camps and are expected to start mid-year examinations on Monday. Vuwani residents also threatened to boycott municipal elections.

(Noxolo Mafu, News24)

Some residents expressed a desire to participate in the elections but admitted that the current situation was not making it possible for the m to do so. One who asked not to be named said because of the shutdown of the area, many of them had not registered.

“The area is still under lock down. We have not registered to vote but I would have loved to vote. There is no service delivery in our area and the only way to change that is to vote someone new in but we won’t be able to do that,” she said.

Driving through the village, police vehicles can be seen at all the corners with majority of the government buildings closed down. Certain streets have been closed off with barbed wire. The trail of destruction is still evident with burnt buildings sticking out like a sore thumb, bearing testimony to the anger and rage that has engulfed the area.

(Noxolo Mafu, News24)

Some residents are trying to pick up the pieces and continue with their lives. Despite roads not being tarred and unemployment a big issue, optimism is high that life will change for all.

The Democratic Alliance’s Ward 14 candidate Mbulayeni Rambau said despite the challenges that have besieged the community, he believed some people would go out and cast their votes. He said there was a heightened desire to vote.

“I’m a man of faith and I believe people will go and vote. If they don’t, those five that go will mandate that particular person. People want to go and vote. They know that to put in a government is through voting. People here are eager to vote,” he said.


Read more on:    da  |  polokwane

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