Maimane supports Mogalakwena residents

2015-01-26 19:30
DA leader Mmusi Maimane (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The residents of Mogalakwena in Limpopo should continue fighting against corrupt government officials and police, the DA's parliamentary leader said on Monday.

"It is time for you, the residents of Mogalakwena, to take back the power from corrupt officials and a police force that is serving their political masters instead of protecting your communities," Mmusi Maimane said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Mokopane police station.

"I have returned to Mogalakwena today because I believe in the fight you are fighting."

Maimane visited protesting residents of Mogalakwena as part of his "power to the people" tour.

He was accompanied by Democratic Alliance Limpopo provincial leader Jacques Smalle.

Police silencing protesters - Maimane

Maimane told residents he had seen how service delivery had ground to a halt and how police were silencing protesters.

Police had fired rubber bullets at protesters on Sunday, he said.

"I have visited those who were injured. I commend their bravery and willingness to stand up against corruption and police brutality."

Maimane said it was a sad day for democracy when police resorted to violence to silence communities who were seeking access to the basic services they were entitled to.

"The national police commissioner must come here to Mogalakwena and explain why nothing is being done about the riot police reporting to a local ANC faction to suppress residents."

Maimane had laid a complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

Earlier in the month, Maimane said residents of the Mogalakwena local municipality were suffering because of ANC infighting in the town.

ANC expulsions

In November, the DA withdrew from political activities in the municipality due to political instability there, DA councillor David Phokela said at the time.

Councillors would, however, continue to provide their services to voters and address any issue residents raised.

On 22 August, the African National Congress said its national disciplinary committee had dismissed an application by 22 Mogalakwena councillors for a review of their expulsions from the party.

They had been suspended after reports that they attended a council meeting with opposition parties in April, where discussions around removing the mayor, chief whip, and some members of the executive committee, were held.

In a by-election in November, the ANC won all 13 wards in Mogalakwena following the expulsions.
Maimane said at the time: "These two factions now find themselves locked in a court battle for power. While this goes on, service delivery has come to a standstill".

On Monday he urged residents to "take back the power".

"As long as the councillors in your community are following President [Jacob] Zuma's example, you will continue to suffer without services.

"That is why in 2016 you must vote to take back the power and vote for a government that will serve your needs."

Read more on:    polokwane  |  service delivery

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