Violence in Midvaal fuelled by ANC, says DA’s Mashaba

2016-07-15 14:00

Johannesburg - The violent protests taking place in the Midvaal Municipality – which is run by the Democratic Alliance – were being fuelled by the ANC, the DA's mayoral candidate for Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, said on Thursday.

"Our friends from the ANC... are disrupting the municipality of the Midvaal," Mashaba told members of the public and students who had gathered at the University of Witwatersrand's Great Hall on Thursday evening to listen to a debate between the ANC’s current MMC of Finance in the City of Johannesburg, Geoffrey Makhubo, Mashaba and Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

Violent protests broke out in Meyerton on Thursday morning when Midvaal Municipality employees barricaded roads with rocks and burning tyres.

According to eNCA online, the protests broke out around 08:00.

The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) reportedly confirmed that their members had, indeed, taken part in the protests. One person was shot in the leg with a rubber bullet, while two others were arrested, it said.

According to the union's shop steward, Lucky Nhlapo, the workers were protesting against victimisation, lack of promotions, racism, maladministration, and sexual harassment.

Samwu 'part of tripartite alliance'

On Thursday, a man wearing an ANC T-shirt told Mashaba that "the Midvaal was burning" and that the people on the ground were unhappy.

"Today as we speak now, the Midvaal is burning and that is because you are not listening to your black workers… We heard from some workers that you are not promoting people of colour, you are only hiring white people and promoting white people.

"I want to know, with such arrogant leadership of Midvaal DA, why should the people of Sedibeng and Midvaal vote for you?" the man said.

Mashaba responded by saying that members of Samwu automatically fell under the tripartite alliance of the ANC, SA Communist Party and Cosatu. This was proof that the ANC had a hand in the protests.

"They know very well that Samwu, which is part of the tripartite alliance, has been trying to destabilise our communities; and the people of Midvaal are not going to be held to ransom," Mashaba said.

"The people of Midvaal will really see it through to ensure that, at the end of the day, the ANC government will never be able to govern that municipality again."

Irresponsible comments - ANC

He said one of the ANC's own former mayors, whose name he could not immediately recall, had told his own party that they should learn from the way in which the Midvaal Municipality was currently being run.

Midvaal is the only DA-run municipality in Gauteng under the leadership of Bongani Baloyi. The party claims it is rated "the number one" municipality in the province.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24 that Mashaba's comments were irresponsible.

"We get accused by many other parties, but Mashaba's accusations are those of a dying horse. If we were influencing the Midvaal Municipality, he should have reported it with law enforcement and not make a public statement. Mashaba does not have evidence for these accusations. We broke the back of the DA in the area and we are going to take the area back."

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