A tweet from political risk analyst Matlala Setlhalogile is currently doing the rounds which notes that one of the leaders of the ongoing shutdown of Alexandra township is Kenneth Mgaga – a man who was recently caught on camera allegedly removing EFF posters in the township.
Residents of the township are protesting what they believe is a lack of service delivery as well as the mushrooming of informal settlements, and protesters have repeatedly asked for Johannesburg executive mayor, the DA’s Herman Mashaba, to come to Alex and hear their grievances.
Mashaba, however, has accused the protests of being “orchestrated” by the ANC, which is why the involvement of Mgaga, who was once Alexandra’s ANC Youth League (ANCYL) chairperson and was later appointed as the organisation’s deputy chairperson, might be seen as significant.
Mgaga himself has dismissed allegations that the protests were electioneering on the part of any political party.
“We do not belong to anybody. We have different political parties, but we came here as members of the community, not members of the ANC. Members of the ANC, the EFF, the DA and other parties are all here,” he said while addressing protesters, City Press reported.
Mgaga’s alleged removal of EFF posters was highlighted on social media in January, with EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu tweeting his identity and threatening that he would “regret” the day he received a visit from EFF branches.
Attempts to contact Mgaga have been unsuccessful so far.
Mgaga has been vocal as a protester at the forefront of the ongoing “shutdown” of Alexander township.
He was referred to as a “community leader” in an eNCA story on the Alex shutdown, where he was quoted as one of the protesters burning tyres, saying he was doing so for “attention”.
“We want the same services as others who live in suburbs,” he said.
He was described as a “community leader” again by SABC, who quoted him as one of the leaders of the shutdown.
“The plan is that we are going to block N3 now as we speak. From the N3, we are going to build up and close all the highways. In fact, we want to close all the main roads going to Sandton and Midrand,” Mgaga told the national broadcaster.