Council in court over protest

Sipho Masombuka

The Nokeng Tsa Taemane local municipality in Cullinan, east of Pretoria, has approached the Pretoria high court for an interdict prohibiting members of the Refilwe Community Development Forum from staging sit-ins at the municipal offices.

According to the municipality's court papers, it wants an order preventing members of the forum from obstructing municipal officials from carrying out their duties and hindering service delivery.

The forum staged a five-day sit-in at the municipal offices in Cullinan between May 1 and 5 and allegedly prevented residents from entering the municipal offices to buy electricity and pay services fees.

Chairman of the Refilwe forum, Mafete Phokane, confirmed the sit-in but denied that they prevented residents from entering the offices.

He said all they wanted was for Nokeng Tsa Taemane local municipality mayor Annah Dikgoro to respond to their complaints about lack of service delivery and corruption.

"We staged a peaceful protest outside the offices and we did not prevent residents from buying electricity as stated in their court papers.

"We have a right to peaceful protest but instead of addressing our complaints, the mayor runs to court to stop us from complaining," said Phokane.

The matter will be heard today.