No grievance warrants loss of life in Hammanskraal – Radebe

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Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe

No matter how deep-seated the problem is in Hammanskraal, there is no grievance that can give rise to the loss of lives, minister in the presidency Jeff Radebe said.

“That is why we are unrelenting in our view that law enforcement must take its course. Those who killed the two contractors must be brought to book. It also comes back to the earlier response I made. Members of communities should not be party to the breaking of the law,” he said.

Violent protests broke out on Monday in Hammanskraal outside Pretoria after authorities evicted residents who allegedly illegally occupied a piece of land.

Radebe, who was speaking at a briefing at Parliament today after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, said Cabinet regretted the death of the two contractors involved in the Hammanskraal removals and expressed its sympathy with the families of the bereaved.

“Law enforcement agencies should double their efforts to find the killers and bring them to justice,” he said.

Addressing another hotspot, Vuwani in Limpopo, he said the government had worked tirelessly engaging communities in a bid to resolve issues and to bring services – including education back into operation. The provision of temporary classrooms has ensured the resumption of academic activities.

Radebe called on communities and leaders to raise issues through channels and platforms which have been established to enable dialogue.

“This unprecedented action of holding the education of our children hostage is unacceptable,” he said.

He commended all law enforcement agencies for the work done which resulted in the arrest of 34 individuals suspected of participating in the destruction of 28 schools.

Radebe added that the service delivery protests were an issue, and couldn’t be solved by authorities alone. Everyone must work together to solve the problems, he said.

“Who can destroy the future of their children – what does the issue of demarcation have to do with the future of our children? The people who did these things [destroyed schools] – I’m sure they are known to the community.”

He said responsible community members who knew the neighbours who did it or “perhaps their own relative” needed to be brave and to stand up against inappropriate actions.

Radebe also said:

» The three ministers who were tasked with talking to the banks that had terminated their business with the Guptas’s Oakbay Investments, hadn’t yet given feedback to Cabinet; and

» The controversy over Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who allegedly brought a young Burundian woman with “illegal documents” into South Africa; as well as a report that S’bu Ndebele – South Africa’s high commissioner in Australia – had been recalled, were not discussed by Cabinet.
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