Hous­ing graft claim de­nied

Pretoria News - - NEWS - RAPULA MOATSHE rapula.moatshe@inl.co.za

HU­MAN set­tle­ments MMC in the city Mandla Nkomo has dis­missed the al­le­ga­tion that the process to re­lo­cate res­i­dents of Marry Me in­for­mal set­tle­ment in Soshanguve to new RDP houses in Ex­ten­sion 19 was tainted with cor­rup­tion.

Nkomo was re­act­ing to a claim by res­i­dents that the slow pace at which the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was de­liv­er­ing houses was due to cor­rup­tion per­pe­trated by some of­fi­cials.

The al­le­ga­tion was made by res­i­dents dur­ing a protest on Tues­day.

But Nkomo said the strong sus­pi­cion that the re­lo­ca­tion process was rid­den with cor­rup­tion was un­founded and un­true.

Ac­cord­ing to him, res­i­dents made such a claim be­cause they were frustrated and im­pa­tient be­cause of the wait­ing pe­riod.

Res­i­dents said the protest, which claimed two lives, could have been averted had the city kept its prom­ise of re­lo­cat­ing them to Ex­ten­sion 19.

But Nkomo pleaded with res­i­dents to be pa­tient, say­ing those who qual­i­fied would be re­lo­cated af­ter the city had ver­i­fied the names of RDP house ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

He said the ver­i­fi­ca­tion process was im­por­tant to re­move the names of peo­ple who were pre­vi­ously al­lo­cated gov­ern­ment houses.

“There is a team that has been formed for the ver­i­fi­ca­tion process, and it is likely to start its work in two weeks.”

Nkomo ex­pressed his con­do­lences to be­reaved fam­i­lies of the peo­ple who died dur­ing the vi­o­lent protest.

The peo­ple were killed fol­low­ing a con­fronta­tion be­tween train commuters and shack dwellers.

“I think it is very dis­turb­ing that peo­ple had to lose their lives over ser­vice de­liv­ery in the times of democ­racy,” Nkomo said.

Dur­ing the protest, res­i­dents blocked the rail­way line near Kopanong train sta­tion in Soshanguve with rocks and burn­ing tyres.

An­gry commuters got off the train af­ter it was stopped and at­tacked the group of res­i­dents who had bar­ri­caded the rail­way line.

The commuters also set alight more than 30 shacks be­long­ing to the protesters.

In re­tal­i­a­tion, res­i­dents cor­nered some commuters, beat them up and killed one at the scene. Three commuters were se­ri­ously in­jured and rushed to Steve Biko Aca­demic Hos­pi­tal, where one died on Wed­nes­day.

PIC­TURE: OUPA MOKOENA

One of the shacks at the Marry Me in­for­mal set­tle­ment that were burnt down by an­gry train commuters on Tues­day.

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