Mayor blamed for fourth Mothutlung death

The community says Mayor Magongwa failed in her promise to get the man to a better hospital.

Madibeng Mayor Poppy Magongwa at the momorial service for three men killed in service delivery protests in Mothutlung last week. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - News of the fourth death related to protest action in Mothutlung has caused further outrage in the embattled North West community.

The victim is a man shot and seriously wounded a week ago, allegedly by police, and who has now died in hospital.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is probing the death while North West Premier Thandi Modise has called for calm in the area.

Two other men died on the scene of the same shooting during the protest over water shortages and sanitation.

On Wednesday, another man died from injuries sustained during further protest action on Tuesday when he fell from a moving police Nyala.

Many in the community accused police of pushing him from the van deliberately, but police claim he fell while trying to escape custody.

All three of those victims were buried at the weekend when the memorial service was disrupted when angry residents attacked a councillor.

A prominent community leader now claims Madibeng mayor Poppy Magongwa should apologise for allowing the fourth man to die.

Paul Hendricks says the municipality promised to move the man from ICU in the government hospital in Garankuwa to a private facility in Brits, but failed to do so.

"The community is disturbed because the mayor is not sticking to her word. If he had been moved to a private hospital like she said, I believe the guy would be alive."

Hendricks honoured the victim's work in fighting for a better Mothutlung.

"We have lost a great leader in the community. The guy who stood up for the community. The guy who really, really was outspoken on service delivery and who died for service delivery," he says.

"That is our concern in our community. Are we going to die when we ask for service delivery from our municipality?"

Political parties have also entered the fray in Mothutlung, with the Economic Freedom Fighters appearing last week and the Democratic Alliance leading a delegation to the area to meet with bereaved families.