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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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RAGe on the road

By unknown | Jan 05, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Traffic came to a halt throughout yesterday after angry residents of Mamone in the Sekhukhune district dug up the tar road between Jane Furse and Lebowakgomo .

The residents used picks, spades and whatever sharp instruments they could find to dig up the road, blocking thousands of motorists on the busy new year's weekend.

Their protest also affected thousands of workers who take public transport from villages in the area to Burgersfort and Lebowakgomo.

The residents accused the municipality of reneging on promises to upgrade the road, which was badly eroded by recent floods.

The angry residents said they had begged municipal officials to repair the road.

"We pleaded with them to revamp the roads but each time we approached them was as if we were speaking to a rock," James Selowa, one of the angry residents, said yesterday.

"We ran out of options and thought they were turning a deaf ear to us be because they thought we were powerless."

Another villager, Robert Mohlala, said they did not want to start a war.

"We are giving the municipality a wake-up call to remind them of their duties because they seem to have forgotten them," Mohlala said.

"If they continue ignoring our demands we will turn this area into [a place of] turmoil and boycott all government services."

No one answered municipal phones yesterday to provide comment. Police arrested 20 of the protesters.

Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said the protestors were charged with malicious damage to property and public violence and would appear in the Sekhukhune magistrate's court this week.


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