Mohlakeng riots: Those against them speak out

The turmoil tore Mohlakeng up last week.

For the past few weeks, many Mohlakeng residents have been up in arms and expressing their disgruntlement with the municipality. Every protest has left parts of the area in ruins.

In the aftermath, business owners in the area are left counting their losses, as their shops were looted during the protests. Both public and private properties have been vandalised by the mobs of angry residents running amok.

Even though about 1 000 people took to the streets last week, there are many who are condemning the behaviour, saying that the approach is completely wrong.

The Herald managed to speak to some residents of the area who said the protest only benefited those who had ulterior motives, namely to commit crimes. According to them, the problems in the area will not be resolved as long the violence continues.

Molefe Selele, a resident of Mohlakeng, said things in the area are out of control and there is an urgent need to employ a proper strategy to address the issues.

“The concept is correct, but the whole way of addressing it is wrong. The behaviour of the protesters makes it very difficult for the mayor to attend to the issues, because what is happening now is not legal.

“What was supposed to happen was to properly organise the march within the ambit of the law. Unfortunately, what is now happening is lots of looting, lots of burning of tyres and people just disrupting the whole community,” Selele said.

Selele also suggested that it may take much longer for the mayor to address the community, as he may be scared for his own safety.

“Firstly, a proper meeting must be held between the mayor and the community, so that we can raise the grievances.”

Asked about the job opportunities that Mohlakeng was ‘deprived’ of, he said, “The jobs could have easily been shared equally amongst the various areas.”

Another resident, Kgantsa Melhomakulu said: “According to my understanding, one of the issues that people were unhappy about was that the mayor hired people from Westonaria without even considering the people in Mohlakeng. Some people are also fighting about the high billing costs, and demanding houses.”

A third resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “Even though the protest is for a good cause, it unfortunate, because at the same time many public properties are vandalised and many things will be lost before we resolve the issues in Mohlakeng.”

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected]  (please remember to include your contact details in the email) or phone us on 011 693 3671.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites

Roodepoort Record

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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  AUTHOR
Tumi Riba
Journalist

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