NGO and com­mu­nity hall torched in de­liv­ery protest

Daily Dispatch - - News - MALIBONGWE DAYIMANI CRIME RE­PORTER malibongwe@dis­patch.co.za

An­gry Sweet Wa­ters res­i­dents de­mand­ing a grave­yard and bet­ter roads have torched an HIV and chil­dren’s NGO cen­tre and a com­mu­nity hall.

The fiery protest hap­pened late on Thurs­day, day two of protests at the King Wil­liam's Town town­ship af­ter a peace­ful march to the ANC pro­vin­cial head­quar­ters in Calata House on Mon­day. ANC lead­ers al­legedly made a com­mit­ment to send state of­fi­cials to the area on Tues­day, but no one ar­rived.

ANC pro­vin­cial chair and fi­nance MEC Os­car Mabuyane said: “We con­demn this be­hav­iour of peo­ple de­stroy­ing ex­ist­ing in­fras­truc­ture in the name of ask­ing for ser­vice de­liv­ery. That doesn't sound like peo­ple gen­uinely look­ing for ser­vice de­liv­ery. That is an­ar­chy and crim­i­nal­ity and the po­lice must deal with them.”

Mbuyane said they would in­ves­ti­gate claims that the riot was sparked by party lead­ers mak­ing prom­ises they could not keep.

King Wil­liam’s Town po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Siphokazi Maw­isa said on Thurs­day night that po­lice were still hunt­ing for the ar­son­ists. “We can con­firm po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty. Pub­lic or­der po­lice are mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion.”

Last night the Dis­patch saw burn­ing tyres rocks and bro­ken bot­tles strewn across the streets, forc­ing mo­torists to ne­go­ti­ate their way through.

Roads to the town­ship were closed by BCM. At­tempts to get a com­ment from Yalusa HIV and Child­care Cen­tre were un­suc­cess­ful.

Sanco ward 45 deputy chair No­bath­embu Pono, 45, said Sweet Wa­ters buried their dead at Zwelit­sha and Brei­d­bach and it was too costly.

“For years we have been com­plain­ing to BCM and the ANC about this. Fam­i­lies are poor here and can't af­ford to hire buses to trans­port mourn­ers. We need our own grave site.”

Pono has dis­tanced Sanco from the group who torched the hall and cen­tre. “As com­mu­nity lead­ers we no­ticed some thugs took ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion to com­mis­sion their own crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties. By the time I got there they had al­ready bro­ken into the hall and set it alight us­ing its fur­ni­ture.

“We con­demn this ac­tion.” Pono said they also needed sport fields and traf­fic lights.

Thugs took ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion to com­mit their own crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties

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