Home News Angry community members block entrance to mayor’s home in Prieska

Angry community members block entrance to mayor’s home in Prieska

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Community members gathered outside Siyathemba mayor Xolile Phillips’ house in Prieska on Tuesday following a tussle over the mayoral seat.

Picture: Supplied

TWO GROUPS of community members gathered outside Siyathemba mayor Xolile Phillips’ house in Prieska on Tuesday following a tussle over the mayoral seat.

The entrance to his house was obstructed by community members.

Phillips, who is also the chairperson of the Siyathemba Community Forum (SCF), was sworn in as mayor on November 22 along with two SCM councillors, Siziwe Mooi and Mauricia Nimmerhoudt, after they also received support from the ANC.

SCM ward councillor Ronald Februarie applied for an urgent interdict in the Northern Cape High Court on Sunday, November 28 to remove the three SCM proportional representatives from council.

He said he had filed papers on Tuesday so that the matter could be heard in the motion court on Friday, to set a trial date for arguments.

He stated that the SCM councillors did not receive the mandate to align the movement with the ANC.

“I tried to calm furious community members down after it was rumoured that our SCM district municipal representative would be removed. The community gathered outside the mayor’s house and blockaded the entrance. The police were called to the scene. This is what happens when the community becomes upset and angry,” said Februarie.

Northern Cape police spokesperson Captain Olebogeng Tawana said that community members of Prieska had gathered in their numbers, demanding to be addressed by the mayor.

“Police are monitoring the situation. No injuries were reported and no arrests were made,” Tawana added.

Phillips indicated that a group of his supporters outnumbered the community members calling for his removal.

“I reported the matter to the police as there were threats that tyres would be set alight outside my house. Fortunately, the threats did not materialise and no stones were thrown at me. I managed to run my errands and go to the shops. The people who do not want me as the mayor are in the minority. I did not pay serious attention to the small groups who were threatening me,” said Phillips.

He explained that the community was misled into believing that he would leave the SCM in order to join the ANC.

“The community were lied to and were falsely informed that our PR councillors would be removed. I am the leader of the SCM and will continue to advance the interests of our voters and not those of the ANC.

“The interdict was scrapped from the roll on Sunday, as it was not deemed to be urgent. Therefore, Februarie is trying to instigate the community, as he wants to be the mayor. Even if I had to step down today, he would not obtain enough support from council to be voted in as mayor. I will not give him the satisfaction of a fight and I also do not want any violence to erupt.”

Phillips pointed out that following his nomination as chairperson of the interim structure of the SCM, he had been given the necessary support to enter into a working relationship with the ANC.

“Siyathemba was a hung municipality – with the ANC holding five seats, the SCM four seats and the DA two seats. We had to depend on other parties to form a majority in the council.”

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