Steven Tau
2 minute read
5 Nov 2013
6:00 am

Bekkersdal police station attacked

Steven Tau

The situation in Bekkersdal remained tense yesterday after the police station and several police vehicles were attacked by disgruntled residents on Sunday night.

The Minister of Water and Sanitation Ms Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane confirmed these incidents in the provincial legislature yesterday.

Responding to questions from the Democratic Alliance regarding the Bekkersdal Urban Renewal programme during a debate in the legislature yesterday, Mokonyane said: “The primary objective of the project was to relocate people from the dolomitic area, as some shacks were falling into sinkholes.

“We have already bought land and that is being developed in Randfontein.”

The DA accused the provincial government of not listening to the people of Bekkersdal.

“Investigations into allegations of corruption in the local municipality must be done speedily and not swept under the carpet,” the Democratic Alliance’s Jack Bloom said.

The attack on the police station came barely hours after talks between community leaders and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Lechesa Tsenoli deadlocked on Sunday.

Community leaders left the eight-hour long meeting dissatisfied after their demands to have the Westonaria Local Municipality placed under administration were turned down.

 

Residents seen walking through littered streets and blockades made by protestors, 28 October 2013, in Bekkersdal, Westonaria.The informal settlement has recently been in the spotlight due to violent protests.  Picture: Alaister Russell

Residents seen walking through littered streets and blockades made by protestors, 28 October 2013, in Bekkersdal, Westonaria.The informal settlement has recently been in the spotlight due to violent protests. Picture: Alaister Russell

 

Residents have accused the municipality’s mayor, Nonkoliso Tundzi, of maladministration and nepotism.

A Bekkersdal resident, who did not want to be named, said there was a strong likelihood that the protests would flare up again.

Community leader Thabang Wesi said he had heard some community members and school children talking among themselves, saying there will be more protests.

“The area is still tense and, from what we gather, residents will not rest until their demands are met. I also received a call from the police station saying they were being attacked on Sunday night,” he added.

The area has been rocked by violent protests over the past two weeks, with children as young as 14 joining the demonstrations and burning tyres and hurling stones at police Nyalas.