ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula took to Twitter to chastise Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba for having “failed the people of Alex”.
A shutdown is currently taking place in Alexandra township. Angry residents say the city of Johannesburg has failed to stop the mushrooming of illegal structures in the area, while some have reported that the protest is over a lack of service delivery in general.
In all caps, Mbalula took Mashaba to task for alleged “failed programs, failed governance, failed leadership”. He also added several hashtags, asking “Where is Mashaba?” and alleging that the mayor was missing in action.
However, the DA soon clapped back with allegations of their own, suggesting that the shutdown was “a coordinated ploy by Luthuli House”. They provided no evidence for this claim.
“Mayor Mashaba is always present on the ground in Alex, and has invested significantly,” the party’s Gauteng Twitter account continued.
“Where is the Alex rejuvenation money, Mr Mbalula?” the tweet further alleged.
EFF leader Julius Malema also reacted to Mbalula’s tweet, albeit through a retweet rather than directly.
He retweeted lawyer and social activist Tumi Sole – a Twitter user whose views are often shared by Malema – who directed a couple of questions at Mbalula.
“Are you seriously going to electioneer about Alex? What has the ANC done to date with regards to Alex?” he asked.
WENA @HermanMashaba YOU HAVE FAILED THE PEOPLE OF ALEX.
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) April 3, 2019
What's becoming clear is that this is a coordinated ploy by Luthuli House.
Mayor Mashaba is always present on the ground in Alex, and has invested significantly.
Where is the Alex Rejuvenation money Mr Mbalula??
— DA Gauteng (@DA_GPL) April 3, 2019
Are you seriously going to electioneer about Alex?
What has the ANC done to date with regards to Alex? https://t.co/syMWAyFz4t
— Tumi Sole (@tumisole) April 3, 2019
According to the metro police, the protest which has broken out in Alexandra township over poor basic services is under control.
Alexandra residents, angry that the city council has not developed the area and has not clamped down on illegal structures, barricaded roads with rocks and burning tyres.
The blockades have since been moved aside, with traffic now flowing, said Johannesburg metropolitan police department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar.
“The situation in Alexandra is under control. Two protesters have been arrested and the rest have been dispersed and a huge contingent of officers has been deployed since 3 am this morning” he said.
Protesters reportedly said they plan to continue with the protests until they get a response from Mashaba.