Mayor calls for calm in Bekkersdal

Nonkoliso Tundzi has appealed to Bekkersdal residents not to disrupt a community meeting.

FILE: A boy runs from an approaching police nyala during violent service delivery protests during October. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Westonaria Executive Mayor Nonkoliso Tundzi has appealed to residents of Bekkersdal to allow a community meeting to proceed today following disruptions of a meeting held in the neighbouring township of Simunye.

Residents burnt tyres and clashed with police on Tuesday, forcing local ward councillors to abandon the discussion on Westonaria's industrial development projects.

A series of violent protests have taken place in the municipality over the past month as residents demanded their local leaders be sacked over alleged corruption.

Tundzi says Tuesday's disruptions seem to have been incited.

"The problem is that we had people who came from Bekkersdal, young people who are not even ratepayers, wanting to disturb the meeting."

But Broader Westonaria Concerned Residents Association Leader Paseka Ndevu says the Bekkersdal community will not allow Tundzi to enter the township.

During protests in the township last month, Tundzi refused to step down amid demands by residents that she resign or be sacked.

She said while she was extremely concerned about the volatile situation in Bekkersdal, she was not willing to step down.