Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
1 Aug 2022
10:39 pm

Tembisa protest has elements of political interference, says Ekurhuleni mayor

Citizen Reporter

Campbell said it was impossible for her to attend every community meeting.

Protesters barricade roads into Tembisa, 1 August 2022, during protests throughout Tembisa over poor service delivery. This follows a night of riots. Two people have been shot dead in the violence. Picture: Michel Bega

Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell says while there are Tembisa community members who have genuinely raised concerns with the city, the protest seems to have been overtaken by criminal elements meant to destabilise the coalition government.

Angry Tembisa residents blockaded several roads with burning tyres and rocks on Monday, also torching municipal vehicles and offices.

Members took to the streets after Campbell did not attend a community meeting on Friday, as community members demanded to be addressed by her.

READ MORE: WATCH: Tembisa shutdown – Second person killed in protests

In an interview with SABC News, Campbell said it was impossible for her to attend every community meeting.

“It’s irresponsible to say ‘the mayor will be here’ because I have a city. I cannot be everywhere every time and Friday was never for me to be there. It was a feedback from my executive, they represent me. I cannot be everywhere so when there is a meeting, my MMCs go and they give feedback to the communities. This feedback is from me, from us as a city, as the executive member that is what you are charged to do. It is very difficult for a mayor to be at every single community meeting,” said Campbell.

“Last week, I delegated five members of the mayoral committee to engage residents on the memorandum they submitted to the city. However, that meeting unfortunately collapsed and failed to reach any resolutions.”

Campbell further said, however, what the country was witnessing in Tembisa was no longer community based, but “a well-orchestrated operation to render the township ungovernable. We believe that the current destruction of infrastructure is politically motivated and intended to undermine the progress of the new administration.”

“The protest action is also to destabilise the new coalition government, Ekurhuleni and we have taken total stance that we will not sit back and let this happen.”

Two more people have lost their lives during the Tembisa service delivery protests.

ALSO READ: Tembisa shutdown: Death toll climbs to four

The two bodies were found near the Customer Care Centre, where the Municipal Centre was set alight. This brings the death toll to four, Newzroom Afrika reported.

The cause of the deaths is unknown at this stage.

The first and second fatalities were reported in the morning, after protesters were caught in the crossfire between officers and other demonstrators.