A community leader this publication could not identify has called for the coloured community of Westbury to vote for political parties that listen to the community’s concerns.
The man was addressing Westbury community members who met Police Minister Bheki Cele at the Sophiatown Police Station on Tuesday after violent protests broke out in the community last week.
The protests, which resulted in the closure of Fuel Road and the destruction of a Rea Vaya Station, were reportedly sparked by the death of a 41-year-old woman who was shot last week Thursday.
The rioting Westbury residents were calling for a probe into the local police station, claiming some police were being bribed by criminals to turn a blind eye to crime in the area.
Police have been on the scene attempting to calm the situation.
The community leader urged the coloured community of Westbury to vote for politicians that listen to their concerns, saying the community would not enter into any deal with politicians.
The leader claimed that in 2015 the community was sold out by Gayton McKenzie – the president of the Patriotic Alliance – to the African National Congress (ANC).
“They came into our communities selling us out to the ANC. Nobody is looking at our concerns,” the man said.
He said during apartheid the coloured community was considered not white enough while in the democratic dispensation they are considered not black enough which means the community remains marginalised and downtrodden.
“Let me tell you, we are tough enough, we are tough enough … 2019 elections are coming. For too long our people have been voting with their hearts and their stomachs, my people here, we are going to vote with our minds,” the man said.
The community leader said political parties that want a vote from the coloured community should serve the community first.
“We are not going to sign any agreement with anybody that will sell us out like Gayton McKenzie. We are not politicians; we are not going to be used. This message must go out, we are the indigenous people of this country. We are taking our rightful place. We are not joining any allegiance with any political party,” the man said.
He called for coloured people to unite and stand together, adding that the community has for too long been neglected, downtrodden, ostracised, and marginalised, which must come to an end.
The man urged members of the coloured community to stop casting blame on each other and “pushing each other down,” reiterating the call for the community to unite.
“They need us. If they do not want to serve us … we will sell our vote to those who listen to us,” the man said.
“We’ve been downtrodden, we’ve been ostracised, we’ve been marginalised,” he added.
The community leader applauded the coloured community of Westbury for the protest because it ensured that their voices were heard.
He posed a question to Cele and other leaders responsible for community safety, questioning why the police, who are meant to serve and protect communities, were using live ammunition to disperse the protesters.
“Minister, we are perceived as being ruthless people. We have been downtrodden, we have been marginalised for years. Believe me, this morning we took the initiative to do some clean-up operations in our very own communities, this is what I picked up,” he said as he displayed a bullet casing.