Note: If Zille actually bothered to find out anything about the communities involved, she would realise that the protesters are organising outside of political parties and challenging both the ANC and DA which both refuse to provide them with basic services. BT Section and other communities in Site C don’t care who won the Western Cape, they care about whether or not they will get electricity. Contact the residents to find out the truth.
May 05, 2009 Edition 1
ELLA SMOOK, BRONWYNNE JOOSTE, NATASHA PRINCE and NOMANGESI MBIZA
Source: Cape Argus
Zille says Khayelitsha demos are political
DA LEADER Helen Zille has accused the ANC of “making a formal decision to render the Western Cape ungovernable”, suggesting it is behind the sustained violent protests in Khayelitsha.
The ANC has hit back, branding Zille’s claims “a complete fabrication”.
The ANC lost control of the province to the DA in last month’s elections.
Zille said she had been told “categorically” that the ANC was planning to make the province ungovernable.
The ANC “did it in the city when we won there, and they will do it in the province, now that we’ve won here”, the premier elect said.
ANC chief whip Garth Strachan said today that the party would reserve its right “to mobilise communities” and “politically campaign”, but within the ambit of the law.
Protesting residents in Khayelitsha, who have for several consecutive nights burnt tyres and even dug trenches in Lansdowne Road to mark their dissatisfaction over service delivery in the area, have dismissed suggestions that the ANC was driving their protest.
They were not “politically motivated”, but rather “doing this as a community”, said BT section (Site C) committee member Thandabantu Mgoduka.
The violent service delivery protests, which started last Monday, continued yesterday.
Adelaide Tambo sub-council manager Anthony Mathe allegedly asked the residents to stop protesting but, after a vote, they decided to continue.
“We are going to stop this when we get what we want. No one is going to smooth-talk us,” said resident Benele Gilintaba.
Mathe confirmed that he had “intervened”.
Site C residents lit piles of rubbish and furniture to stop traffic from using Lansdowne Road at around midday yesterday. They also dug two trenches across the road and stoned buses, breaking the windows of several Golden Arrow buses.
Golden Arrow’s Vuyisile Mdoda earlier today said he was not aware of buses being stoned in the area.
“Our buses will proceed as normal,” he said.
Residents yesterday stood watching – amused – as motorists were forced to turn their cars around, unable to venture across the deep trenches.
Some trucks, bakkies and buses were able to ease through, until residents set more rubbish alight to stop them.
Police had to clear the burning barricades, using a heavy duty vehicle to move a container blocking the road.
Resident Nino Qudalele said the protest was planned well before the election and was not political. Residents wanted basic services from the government, regardless of which party was in power.
“Since 1994 we have voted, but nothing came of it. We don’t have a budget from the municipality. We asked for our needs to be included in the budget (and) the government said it did cater for us … but we don’t see it. We are fighting for our rights,” he said.
By digging trenches, perhaps “someone will look and listen”.
While Strachan slammed Zille’s claims, he was adamant that the ANC would continue to meet communities that had grievances and concerns.
“We will meet with them and organise them, in the same way that Helen Zille does.”
He urged Zille to lodge a formal complaint with the “relevant authorities”.
ANC chief whip in the city council, Peter Gabriel, also said he doubted his party was behind the protests.
But Zille said last night that a trusted source had told her the ANC held a meeting over the weekend, at which a decision was made to “make the Western Cape ungovernable”.
Since she was “between jobs”, neither mayor nor premier, she was not in a position to address the situation.