Magareng mayor Neo Mase urges protesters to afford the municipality an opportunity to address their grievances
A PLANNED meeting between Warrenton protesters and the mayor of Magareng Municipality, Neo Mase, had to be abruptly cancelled after the protest action apparently turned volatile.
According to Mase, she was meant to meet with protesters at 10am on Wednesday to respond to the memorandum handed over to the municipality last week.
“We were on our way to the venue to address the protesters, however, we were advised by the police to first wait for more police back-up from Kimberley as the protest was turning violent,” said Mase.
“The Public Order Police (Pops) unit from Kimberley eventually arrived and we headed to Ikhutseng. We were, however, denied access into the residential area as protesters barricaded the road and refused us entry.
“One group of protesters tried to barricade the N12 and started pelting the vehicles on that road with stones. The police redirected the traffic and brought the situation under control. There was another group of protesters blocking the road leading into Ikhutseng and we were unable to address the protesters as they were getting angry.
“The police advised that we should rather give the protesters an opportunity to calm down as our safety might be at risk. The police were unable to defuse the situation and we decided to adhere to the advice from the police.”
Mase said further that she had been a victim of the protesters’ anger when they stoned her house.
“There were some individuals who sneaked up on my house between nine and 10pm on Tuesday. They threw stones at the house and broke several windows of my house. Luckily none of my family members were injured during the incident. The incident was, however, very traumatising. We later found out that the house of one of the councillors was also stoned on the same night.”
Mase urged the protesters to afford the municipality an opportunity to address their grievances.
“We received the memorandum from the community last week Tuesday. One of their grievances related to the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of the municipality. My intention with today’s meeting was to respond to those grievances and explain the IDP.
“The council is now at a dead end as we are unable to interact with the community because of the volatile conditions. We call on the community to calm down in order for us to address these matters,” said Mase.