Chaos erupts at Mothutlung memorial

An angry community member has run onto the stage trying to attack a municipal officer.

FILE: The site of service delivery protests in Mothutlung where two protesters were shot dead, allegedly by police on 13 January 2014. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Chaos erupted at the memorial service for the three people who died this week in service delivery protests in Mothutlung.

An angry community member ran on to the stage, trying to attack a municipal officer.

This came after family members and friends paid their last respects at the service, with some saying that their loved ones died so that the community could have a drop of water.

Mourners have also called for the executive mayor and other municipal officials to resign.

An angry community member charged mayor Douglas Mmaimane, attacking him with a water bottle on stage.

As Maimane ran outside to escape the assault, he was beaten in the face leaving him with a bleeding nose.

The community is accusing him of failing to listen to their desperate pleas for better water services.

Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa was furious and was adamant that the memorial service continue.


At the same time, Jaconia, the brother of Osiah Rahube who died during the water protest, has slammed the Madibeng mayor Poppy Mangongwa and Molewa for attending his memorial service.

Rahube and Michael Tshele were killed on Monday while protesting over the provision of water.

A third injured community member, Lerato Seema, later died in hospital after falling from a police nyala.

The matter is being investigated by police watchdog IPID.

Jaconia stood in front of Mangongwa, pointing his finger at her accusing her of killing his brother.

An angry community member criticising Mothutlung mayoral members. Picture: EWN

Angry family members gave him a standing ovation while the mayor and water affairs minister sat quietly on stage, showing no emotion.

Jaconia further accused the mayor of pretending that government cared about the community.

Municipal officials handed out bottled water to mourners but not even this gesture was welcomed.

Residents are questioning why the municipality failed to hear their desperate plea for water for months, but after three people died were they able to restore water within days.