Residents accuse Makhanda shutdown leaders of selling out

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  • SACP local leader Bongani Hanisi was booed off stage after trying to convince the crowd to cease hostilities and give the municipality 14 days to address their issues.  
  • The situation became volatile and police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades.
  • The crowd accused the leaders of selling out and walked away from the meeting held at Fingo Square on Wednesday evening. 

A meeting between residents and organisers of the Makhanda shut down protest - which was called following a behind the doors meeting with Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha - descended into chaos after residents accused their leaders of selling out.

This, after the leaders told more than 900 angry residents that they had made a deal with Nqatha and Makana councillors to give the council 14 days in which to address their demands. 

The announcement angered the crowd.

The residents had waited patiently for eight hours for Nqatha to address them at Fingo Square.

protesters clashed with the police on Dr Jacob Zum
Protesters clashed with the police on Dr Jacob Zuma Drive in Makhanda on Wednesday.

Protest organiser and Uncedo taxi spokesperson Lungisa Sixaba told the crowd that the municipality and Nqatha, said they cannot address the potholes, water cuts, sewage spills and other issues in a short time. 

READ | Makhanda potholes protests: N2 highway shut, dept petrol bombed, public schools closed

Nqatha, who was sent to Makhanda to broker peace with protesters, failed to address the crowd and only met with a few leaders after they barged through the 1820 Settlers Monument building doors to demand an audience with him.

Nqatha was there with mayor Mzukisi Mphahlwa and other leaders of the municipality.

READ | Housing dept building torched as protesting continues in Eastern Cape

Angry residents who wanted to get to Nqatha, were kept at bay by public order police who occasionally fired rubber bullets and stun grenades.

After the meeting collapsed and residents walked away, Sixaba told News24 that a meeting would be held on Wednesday night to discuss a way forward.

SACP local leader Bongani Hanisi was booed off stage after trying to convince the crowd to cease hostilities and give the municipality 14 days to address the issues.  

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