Hundreds of disheartened protesters descended on the Komani town hall alleging the local authority to have been captured by some members of the ANC Chris Hani regional executive, and calling for its disbandment.
Members of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Mlungisi Crisis Committee, Komani Residents United, South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans (MKMVA), faith-based leaders and pupils from Ezibeleni and Mlungisi came together demanding the stepping down of the “Ngcobo boys”.
They include ANC Chris Hani regional secretary Lusanda Sizani and treasurer Madoda Papiyana, ANCYL regional chairman Zithulele Sigonyela and secretary Aphiwe Mkhangelwa, and Enoch Mgijima municipality corporate services director Xolani Makeleni.
The peaceful march almost took a turn for the worse when Sigonyela uttered some foul words to the crowd prior to the reading of their memorandum of demands, which fuelled the crowd into threatening to “get” him.
Sanco regional secretary Thulani Bukani said the Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, was supposed to receive the memorandum and that his failure to avail himself was a sabotage of their cause, which would not deter them.
Crisis committee member Mayanda Nogemana said the memorandum would alternatively have been handed over to ANC Chris Hani regional chairman Wongama Gela, but he was as corrupt.
Nogemana said they were calling for the release of the long-awaited housing commission report which they claimed implicated local leaders in wrongdoing, an investigation into the legality of occupation of municipal properties by municipal staff and an investigation into the leasing of land to foreign nationals at the expense of local businesses.
“Down with the Ngcobo boys who have captured and crippled our municipality, denying local residents jobs while giving them to their girlfriends and family members. We demand that all irregular appointments made in the absence of administrator Vuyo Mlokothi be investigated.”
Nogemana encouraged residents to stop paying for services they did not receive, while the municipality was being looted into the ground.
“The water services need to be returned to the administration of the local authority immediately. All roads in this town are bad, while leaders in the municipality allow for irregular conduct to persist instead of delivering services to the people. All they do is to switch off electricity in poor people’s homes for non-payment. I call on all Komani residents to come together and stop these Ngcobo boys from further crippling our municipality.”
The local authority mayor Luleka Gubula received the memorandum and thanked the demonstrators for the peaceful march, promising to direct the document to the relevant office.