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Mayor resigns after violent protest

By Riot Hlatshwayo | Jul 14, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

CALM is expected to return to Mashishing after reports that Thaba Chweu executive mayor Clara Ndlovu has resigned in an apparent bid to calm the community.

Several government and private buildings, including a library, an ambulance, a social security agency office, a shop belonging to the mayor's brother and a house belonging to her sister were torched in riots at the Lydenburg township.

Members of the community blocked roads and threw stones at police even during a visit by MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Norman Mokoena.

Mokoena's driver had to flee with the MEC from angry stone- throwing residents during a meeting on Sunday.

The violence has been going on for about two months, with members of the community calling for Ndlovu and other senior officials to be fired.

This followed allegations that R3,2million disappeared from the municipality's main account.

The municipality has confirmed allegation of missing funds but insisted that investigations were continuing.

Mashishing Activists Forum spokesperson Samora Mlotjwa said yesterday:

"Now that we have reliably been informed that the mayor has resigned, I can declare without a doubt that the war is over in Mashishing.

"People were very angry and the mayor's resignation means the people have finally won," Mlotjwa said.

A total of 73 people were arrested for public violence between Friday and Sunday.

They appeared in the Lydenburg magistrate's court yesterday. They were each granted R500 bail and their cases were postponed to August 25.

Mokoena's spokesperson, Simphiwe Kunene, told Sowetan the department was interacting with stakeholders in a bid to find a solution to the problems facing Mashishing.

Kunene could, however, not confirm Ndlovu's resignation.


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