Ramaphosa ‘lays it on thick’ against Mashaba in Alex

ANC President Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa addressing a Public meeting in Pietermaritzburg, Friday 29 March 2019 | Image: Twitter/ @myanc

ANC President Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa addressing a Public meeting in Pietermaritzburg, Friday 29 March 2019 | Image: Twitter/ @myanc

Ramaphosa told Alex residents that he urged the Johannesburg mayor to find the time in his schedule to meet the locals.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, while in Alexandra to galvanise support for the ANC ahead of the May elections, could not help but mention the elephant in the room, which in this case was Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s no-show in the embattled township.

Ramphosa, who was wearing ANC regalia, spoke to locals reassuring them that the party was there to meet their demands. He immediately instructed the premier to address the issues in the township to ensure there was a way forward by next week.

He rubbished claims that the ruling party was behind the recent protest action and said a leader needed to immediately attend to local issues, referring to Mashaba.

“Even if locals were ANC members, it was important as a mayor to come to hear grievances. But because I respect him because he holds an important position in counsel, I politely request that he must find the time to come to Alex and engage with locals.”

Ramaphosa’s suggestion was rejected by the crowd who made it clear they did not want Mashaba in the township.

“Let’s give him a chance.

“Usually when there were issues communities were faced with, it was not the president who responded first. The president usually sends representatives to attend to the matter.

“That is why I suggested he go first to attend to grievances. When we realised he was not going [to the township], we suggested to the premier [David Makhura] to go.

“Makhura came and went around Alexandra, without fear, and spoke to locals including MECs and later suggested that the president come to the township.”

Meanwhile, Mashaba is set to have an interesting visit to Alex next Monday, as a letter he had sent to Ramaphosa on visiting the township as a collective, appears to have been ignored.

Mashaba said Ramaphosa’s silence regarding a letter sent to him this week Monday revealed “the politics behind the Alexandra protest”, he wrote in a statement on Thursday.

Mashaba proposed that instead of Ramaphosa visiting Alex residents on Thursday, that he consider organising a “real inter-governmental engagement” with residents at a later date.

Enraged residents have been protesting since last Wednesday, calling for solutions to service delivery problems, high levels of crime, and the issue of illegal land use, among others.

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