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NPO members locked out of meeting

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“Why would the chairperson all of a sudden have a church event at the same venue and scheduled for the same time as the Sawima meeting? There is clearly corruption taking place”

ANGRY South African Women in Mining Association (Sawima) members gathered at the Kimberley City Hall on Saturday afternoon after they were apparently locked out of a scheduled association meeting.

Sawima is a non-profit organisation which focuses on developing women in mining and related industries.

The women, who were from Schmidtsdrift, Barkly West and Windsorton, said that they were all shareholders in Sawima and had received e-mails inviting them to an event at the city hall.

The women said they were requested to bring along confirmation letters of their bank details as there would be a ‘surprise’ for members who were in good standing.

The women were fuming when they were denied access to the event and claimed that they were given measly excuses by the chairperson, a Ms Mamzambo, on why they could not be allowed into the venue.

“The hall is nicely decorated and tables are set inside. There is clearly something happening here. The chairperson said that it is not a Sawima event but rather a church event. Her explanation does not make any sense as we all received e-mails stating that a Sawina meeting is to take place today at the same venue. Why would the chairperson all of a sudden have a church event at the same venue and scheduled for the same time as the Sawima meeting? There is clearly corruption taking place,” one woman said.

Others said that they were told that only members who were in good standing with the association were to attend the meeting.

“I am in good standing with the association but was denied access when I was asked my name. They looked for my name and could not find it … then I was shown the door. I was told that only 20 women were allowed inside the hall. This is very fishy as the majority of Sawima members are now outside the hall.”

Some women claimed that they did not know how and when the chairperson was elected.

“We are 190 members of Sawima in the Northern Cape. Mamzambo was elected by a selected few to occupy the position of chairperson. The majority of us did not elect her as chairperson.

“She is not transparent and she needs to be voted out of her position. This situation is an indication that she is not truthful and honest. How can so many women from different parts of the Province decide that they want to gatecrash a so-called church event? This does not make sense.

“We know that it is time to pay dividends and the e-mail stated that we should bring our bank details. She probably wants to pay dividends to only a select few. We are all entitled to our money that we have invested.”

The police were called after the angry members tried to get inside the hall.

The police officials tried to convince the chairperson, who was behind locked doors inside the hall, to address the members outside.

Upon being asked for comment on the matter, the chairperson said that they will hand the matter over to their legal team.

“We cannot comment on criminality. We will hand the matter to our legal team and they will deal with it,” said Mamzambo.