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Protesters want councillor out

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Tensions spilled over when angry protesters threw rubbish in the street in front of the councillor’s home

Picture: Supplied

WHILE a number of disgruntled Galeshewe residents yesterday demanded that action be taken against their ward councillor, amidst an array of allegations, ranging from nepotism to child abuse, the councillor said that she was not sure what answers the angry group of protesters were expecting of her, nor why refuse was scattered in front of her house.

This comes after a few dozen protesters started the new week by disrupting the flow of traffic into Galeshewe and demanded answers to questions that the ward 33 councillor claims are unclear.

Yesterday morning, community representative and ANC Youth League (ANCYL) branch chairperson, Lawrence Nkwanaze, said that residents had a number of grievances regarding their safety but added that the bulk of the unhappiness could be directly attributed to the conduct of their councillor.

These included an incident where a four-year-old was assaulted, allegedly by the councillor, the prevalence of youth unemployment, poor service delivery and safety concerns in the area, with protesters demanding that the relevant authorities take the necessary steps.

Tensions spilled over shortly before lunchtime when angry protesters threw rubbish in the street in front of the councillor’s home.

However, the councillor said yesterday afternoon that it remained unclear what exactly her constituency was asking of her.

“We are extremely unhappy with the councillor for a number of reasons and want to know why she has not been suspended, pending investigation, after she assaulted a four-year-old child a few weeks ago,” said Nkwanaze.

“We have been calling for the ANC Provincial Executive Council to recall the councillor from her post but this has still not happened.”

According to Nkwanaze, land that has been earmarked for the eventual development of a bypass through the city, but has stood undeveloped for decades, was also becoming a growing cause for concern as it was contributing to crime in the area.

“The municipality said that they were going to build a bypass road in this area but, more than 20 years later, nothing has been done and the place has become a crime hot spot. At night, it is dark and dangerous and residents are living in fear for their lives.”

Meanwhile, regarding the alleged assault of the child, the councillor said yesterday that this was a matter before the courts and she declined to comment.

She confirmed that refuse had been scattered at her home but said she was not at home at the time of the incident.

The ward councillor also added that she had gone to address the protesters but was still unclear about what had sparked yesterday morning’s incident.

“I can’t really say what the problem is,” she said yesterday afternoon. “I was there to address them in the morning when they were unhappy about the process that was followed when hiring municipal workers. They wanted to know where they were from and how they got the jobs.

“Then they wanted to be addressed by the mayor. Then there were other claims about a memorandum. “Unfortunately, I could not determine what exactly they were asking.”