Vuwani traditional leaders: Community will force govt to give in to demands

Residents are opposed to the town being incorporated into the new municipality in Vhembe District after it was demerged from the Makhado municipality.

FILE: Protesting Vuwani residents outside the municipal offices before being addressed by the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Makoma Makhurupetje on 6 February 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Amid fresh violence in Vuwani, traditional leaders in the Limpopo town have vowed that the community will force government to give them what they want.

Residents are opposed to the town being incorporated into the new municipality in Vhembe District after it was demerged from the Makhado municipality last year.

On Tuesday, two men burnt to death in their vehicle when they crashed into a pipe which was used by protesters to obstruct the road.

Senior traditional leader Kgosi Masia has given government a stern warning.

“They are waging a war. For anybody to think that at some point these people will surrender and forget, that thinking is just unfortunate. Even if they were to be forced to work with the municipality, that relationship is going to be characterised by tension.”

RENEWED TENSIONS

Protests have flared up again in Vuwani after the Municipal Demarcation Board rejected the community's demand to incorporate the area back into its previous municipality.

On Tuesday nearly 30,000 pupils missed school due to alleged intimidation by protesters. The protesters also torched at least 4 vehicles, including an SABC van.

Last year, 30 schools were either burnt or vandalised during similar protests.

Protests are expected to continue in the area.