Merafong mayor says he was not forced out

FORMER Merafong mayor Des van Rooyen who resigned from his position said he was not pushed.

FORMER Merafong mayor Des van Rooyen who resigned from his position said he was not pushed.

"I have been redeployed to the National Assembly as I was nominated on the party (ANC) national list. I was not pushed," Van Rooyen, pictured, told Sowetan yesterday.

Van Rooyen became unpopular with residents of Khutsong who barred him and councillors from entering the township since 2006.

Residents blamed him and the councillors for endorsing a decision to put Merafong under the jurisdiction of North West from Gauteng.

Van Rooyen was hounded and threatened with violence and other councillors were chased out and some of their houses were burnt.

Merafong residents refused to vote and destroyed council property while schooling ground to a halt.

Khutsong, Carletonville, Fochville and Wedela are part of the Merafong Municipality.

The decision to incorporate Merafong into North West was reversed before the national and provincial elections this year, and the was reincorporated into Gauteng.

Van Rooyen said his swearing in into Parliament was delayed because the ANC wanted him to be part of the transition back into Gauteng.

"My redeployment has nothing to do with Khutsong. The Khutsong experience has taught us the importance of communication between the government and the people.

"We have a challenge of making sure that our people are part of decision-making."

Member of the mayoral committe councillor Mantsho Mathikge was elected on Tuesday to replace Van Rooyen.

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