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Stop destruction of infrastructure, rather oust the ANC

Image: Tiro Ramatlhatse

Almost two weeks ago, some of the residents in my hometown of Mahikeng went on a rampage. They burnt, looted, barricaded and destroyed properties and infrastructure in the area.

We were made to believe these violent protests were about lack of service delivery, but it later emerged that some protesters were also demanding that the premier Supra Mahumapelo resign.

It was widely reported in the media that Mahumapelo deserves to fall because of allegations of his involvement with the Gupta family and corruption in general.

As I have stated, Mahikeng is my hometown and I would like to see it developing; and perhaps regain its former status of being known as a city of goodwill. It has been almost two weeks since the protests died down, but the town still remains filthy, with no sign of service delivery.

In the final analysis, the ANC is still comfortably in charge and in control of the Mahikeng local city council, as well as the Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality and the provincial government.

I hold no brief for the ANC but the destruction of any public or private property, infrastructure, the barricading of roads and looting on the basis that the ANC government - that was elected and endorsed by the majority of Mahikeng residents - makes no sense to me.

We know not all residents voted for the ANC in the 2014 national provincial elections and 2016 local government elections. It therefore does not make sense why the rights of those who did not vote for the ANC should be violated in what clearly is factional battles in the party.

For those of us who have spent some considerable time assessing ANC failures at local, provincial and national level for the past 24 years, replacing Mahumapelo with another ANC premier, or replacing the mayor with another ANC mayor, is not in the best interests of Mahikeng residents and the province. It is actually a vicious circle that will benefit the new faction in power and their associates, not residents.

The residents do not need "bring us a Mcebisi Jonas" option as promoted by the EFF leader in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro - the ANC needs to be overthrown from power yesterday. People have heard enough, they have seen enough for the past 24 years and all that is left is to legally and constitutionally overthrow the ANC . The "Mcebisi Jonas" option is actually meant to perpetuate the ANC's grip on power for the next 24 years and discourage people from doing the right thing. It is neither sustainable nor progressive.

In my view, what is required is for the residents of Mahikeng to mobilise communities and topple the ANC from power through the ballot.

In the meantime, we would encourage residents disgruntled with theANC to resign en masse from the ANC and join other political parties that will prioritise the needs of the people rather than the needs of the political party leader and his/her associates.

For me, this is one of the most realistic ways to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the ANC's failure to deliver quality and decent service to our people.

It does not make any sense at all to destroy, burn and damage the same infrastructure that is going to be repaired and/or replaced with the more of taxpayers' money.

It is also important to ensure that, at all times, thugs and criminals are not given space to hijack genuine service delivery protests, irrespective of which political party is in power.

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