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Call to dissolve ‘rotten’ municipality

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“We will make the municipality ungovernable if they are not removed.”

PEACEFUL: Residents from Mataleng and De Beershoogte handed over memorandums to the Barkly West police station commander and the HOD of Coghsta, Bafedele Lenkoe during a peaceful protest yesterday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

BARKLY West residents are demanding that Dikgatlong Municipality be dissolved and have described it as being “rotten to the core”.

A peaceful protest march took place yesterday from the intersection between Mataleng and De Beershoogte to the police station and the municipal offices in Barkly West, where memorandums were handed over to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Northern Cape, Major-General Phiwe Mnguni, and the HOD for the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bafedile Lenkoe.

The community are continuing to call for the removal of the Dikgatlong mayor and the chief financial officer as they believe that they are “not fit to hold office”.

“We will make the municipality ungovernable if they are not removed.”

EFF deputy provincial chairperson Keke Kenote called on politicians to stop interfering with council.

“Municipal officials enjoy living lavish lifestyles, while the municipality is rotten to the core. We are not here to play games. We are worried about the future of our children and are here to represent the poor and marginalised. The municipality has failed to implement the financial recovery plan. We are urging for a Section 106 investigation to be conducted at Dikgatlong Municipality dating back to 2009,” said Kenote.

He ponited out that the municipality was in a state of disarray.

ANC deputy regional secretary Maxwell Kgosing said that residents wanted to be able to purchase electricity directly from Eskom. “The old water debt to be written off and all informal settlements must be provided with basic services,” he added.

Dikgatlong independent councillor Mentley Bezuidenhout said that the leadership of the municipality was incompetent.

“There are no services and our people are forced to drink black water.”

A memorandum that was handed over at the police station highlighted the grievances of the community regarding incidents of alleged police brutality in Barkly West.

“The police are becoming reckless when attending to protests and this poses a danger to the community. The commander in charge on October 17, when the police shot randomly at people during a peaceful march, must never be deployed here again. Innocent bystanders were injured and arrested. The police are trigger happy when they are supposed to be restoring peace and order through engagement with community leaders. The community have a right to protest as they have legitimate concerns.”

Both the police and Coghsta said they would respond to the memorandum in due course.