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Tripartite Alliance intervenes, Bekkersdal

The SACP is confident the Tripartite Alliance can find a solution to stabilise Bekkersdal.

Police Nyalas outside a shop that was looted in Bekkersdal. 25 October 2013. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) in Gauteng says it is confident a meeting with the ANC and community leaders in Bekkersdal and surrounding areas will restore stability to the township.

Bekkersdal in Westonaria has been hard hit by violence over the past few weeks with residents damaging public property and blockading roads, demanding better service delivery.

The SACP's Jacob Mamabolo says, "I am confident the intervention by the Tripartite Alliance should be able to bring a sustainable, long-lasting solution to stabilise the situation in Bekkersdal and surrounding areas."

CALLS FOR MAYOR TO STEP DOWN

Angry residents are also insisting that Executive Mayor Nonkoliso Tundzi be fired and her municipality placed under administration.

But Tundzi says while she is extremely concerned about the volatile situation at Bekkersdal she is not willing to step down.

She 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."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has called for a snap debate in the Provincial Legislature over the violent protests.

The party's Jack Bloom claims Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has 'enflamed the situation' by protecting the Westonaria Mayor, who has been accused of corruption.

Mokonyane was also quoted saying that she does not want residents' 'dirty votes'.

This was after she was booed and heckled by angry residents on Friday.

BEKKERSDAL MATRICS

The Education Department has confirmed that about 450 grade 12 pupils in the Bekkersdal township will be going to a special residential camp to ensure they write exams without disruption.

The class of 2013 begins writing exams tomorrow and will sit for English Paper One.

The department's Gershwin Chuenyane says, "At the camp the pupils will also receive tuition. There will be tutors for the duration of their stay."

Teacher Mamokete Zulu says it's unfair that pupils had little time to prepare for the exams with violence constantly disrupting classes.

"They are very secure and hopefully they will have time to prepare. They will be writing on Monday at 9am."