Gauteng Premier David Makhura has slammed Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga for “making excuses” and blaming the previous ANC administration for poor service delivery after five Soshanguve children were killed by a falling light mast.
Speaking at their funeral on Saturday, Makhura said the municipality should take responsibility for services and “not pass the buck”.
He added: “The ANC is not running the City of Tshwane so the ANC can’t be blamed for something when it is not in government. “I can’t say, if something goes wrong in Gauteng, I blame the DA or the EFF. They are not running government. “If something goes wrong in areas of municipal services, the city leadership must take responsibility.”
Dimpho Bopane, five, Boitshoko Bopape, 11, Lethabo Matibako, nine, and Maikano Khoza, nine, were killed when a light mast ring fell on them in Block X last week. Kearabile Baloyi, 11, died later in hospital.
The five were laid to rest in a joint funeral paid for by the city.
The tragedy set off back-and forth accusations between the Tshwane ANC and the DA-led government over poor service delivery, cable theft and politicking. Despite Msimanga blaming the tragedy on cable theft, Makhura said the city should be “honest and frank” with the community and ensure it does not happen again.
“The city must be frank and take accountability and say how this happened,” he said. “Criminals will always be there. We know they will try to mess with the infrastructure but, as government, we must stop passing the buck.”
Hundreds of community members flooded into the community hall to bid farewell to the children.
Local government leaders, including Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe, council chief whip Christian van den Heever and acting mayor Cilliers Brink attended the service.
Former Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, leader of the opposition in council Mapiti Matsena and Tshwane EFF chairperson Benjamin Disoloane were also there.