Bekkersdal: Mayor Tundzi refuses to step down

While Nonkoliso Tundzi is concerned over violent protests in Bekkersdal she is not willing to step down.

Residents of Bekkersdal in Westonaria at a stand-off with police during a service dilevery protest on 24 October 2013. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Westonaria Local Municipality's Executive Mayor Nonkoliso Tundzi says she is extremely concerned about the volatile situation at Bekkersdal but is not willing to step down.

Residents have been calling the mayor to be fired and are demanding better services.

Over the past few weeks residents have burnt tyres, thrown stones at police vehicles and destroyed the community centre.

Violent protests in the township have seen roads barricaded, the looting of shops and last week 20-year-old Themba Khumalo was shot dead.

Tundzi says it's not up to her to leave the post as she was deployed and must be given the order by her superiors.

"It's not that I'm not ready. But I am saying it's a matter that I don't have jurisdiction on. I cannot decide what to do."

Police are maintaining a heavy presence in the area.

Meanwhile, a new administration for the Westonaria Local Municipality is expected to be rolled out on Monday by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, following a visit to the township.

Mokonyane says residents must allow government to enter into the township.

"Allow government services to come into Bekkersdal, whatever our differences are.

"In the foreseeable future, when all other things have been rectified [we will] communicate as to what the administrative interventions are that we are putting in place."

Mokonyane added government's intervention in Bekkersdal was delayed due to the finalisation of a plan on how to deal with thousands of protestors.

She says government intervention is not too late.

"We don't have a hit and run kind of intervention, we have an intervention that is sustainable making sure we deal with those who have the constitutional right to protest but who have gone over the mark by destroying property."