Vuwani crisis: ANC blames cowards, opposition blames ANC

2016-05-17 14:35
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PICS: School in ashes after violent Vuwani protests

Protesters have torched schools during violent protests against the redrawing of municipal boundaries ahead of local elections. View pics here.

Cape Town – It was a case of blame-shifting and political campaigning as Parliament on Tuesday discussed the ongoing crisis in Vuwani, Limpopo.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo blamed the protests on "cowards" and "elements hell-bent [on causing] anarchy and lawlessness".

But opposition parties placed the blame squarely on the ANC's shoulders.

All parties, however, collectively condemned the burning of schools and buildings.

Mahlobo said the phenomenon of burning schools, libraries and university buildings in the name of voicing grievances could not be tolerated.

"It is an attack against the future of our children and must be condemned by all peace-loving South Africans. There are elements hell-bent [on causing] anarchy and lawlessness," he said.

He said some of these elements were in Parliament.

Political agenda driving crisis

Opposition parties, including the EFF and the DA, blamed the crisis, which has seen the burning of schools in the area, on ruling party politics.

Party after party professed that they were the "only solution" to the crisis.

The DA and ACDP said political agenda was driving the crisis, and it had not sprung up overnight.

DA MP Kevin Mileham said the story of Malamulele and Vuwani did not begin last month, or even last year.

"It is a simmering pot of tension that dates back decades, and has been exacerbated by lacklustre or non-existent service delivery, a web of corrupt patronage networks, and a complete failure to consult with the affected communities," he said.

Mahlobo said it had been observed that the use of ethnicity, racism and religion was one of the most effective tools with which to kill societies and start endless wars.   

Violence uncalled for

"In our assessment, the violence and destruction of property seen in Vuwani and surrounding villages is driven by few individuals, in leadership positions, whose economic and political interests are threatened by the process of demarcation. 

"They are also individuals who want to use the demon of tribalism and ethnicity to fuel conflict [within] the community which has been hitherto living side by side in peace," he said.

The EFF also used the opportunity to present themselves as the only viable solution for change in Vuwani.

Co-operative and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen spoke about some of government's interventions in the area.

He said the outbreak of violence was a serious concern and uncalled for.

Over 20 schools have been burnt and others vandalised in the area during protests by residents against a decision by the Municipal Demarcation Board to incorporate Vuwani into a new municipality.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  polokwane  |  protests

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