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Ngqushwa Municipality accused of hiring bouncers against protesting residents

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 28, 2018
Ngqushwa Municipality accused of hiring bouncers against protesting residents

Residents of Glenmore, a village 20km outside Peddie towards Grahamstown, on Wednesday accused the Ngqushwa Local Municipality of apparently hiring bouncers against them after they embarked on a protest.

The residents decided to go on another protest after the Municipal Manager apparently failed to respond to a memorandum of demands handed over to the municipality during another protest on the 25 of April.

The residents want the municipality to fix the Glenmore stadium, which is still lying idle after a R3 million upgrade about three years ago.

Ngqushwa Local Municipality Executive Mayor, Mnikelo Siwisa, issued a statement in May announcing that a thorough investigation into the misappropriated R3 million that was meant to be used to fix the stadium.

During the march, the protesters were apparently prevented from entering the municipal premises by a "bouncer" on Wednesday.

While addressing the marchers at the gate, Afesis-corplan programmes officer for Good Local Governance, Masixole Kente, said: “This municipality [is] showing signs that [it] doesn’t care about the people.”

The Executive Mayor and the Municipal Manager were not present during the time of the protest - apparently, they were in East London on other municipal business.

“Why must you hire a bouncer in a public institution as if we are violent?" Kente asked.

"We have been writing petitions and following the rules, but there is no response. We are tired of coming here and living without answers."

While Lindokuhle Vellem, also from Afesis-corplan, expressed the pain of the community.

“There are children, who are falling pregnant, who used to play netball in that field; there are unemployed people that were selling in that field to make ends meet, but and there used to be tournaments in that stadium, but you came to destroy that," Vellem said.

“What do you do in that council meeting? Don’t be dolls that sit in council and say we vote, we vote.

“Nurses cannot make their health rounds at Glenmore anymore because there is no field. When you came here, there was a field and nobody wants to account now."

Efforts to get comment from the Municipal Manager or Executive Mayor before publishing were not successful as their phones went unanswered.

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