Vuwani residents snub meeting with Mbalula

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says a few defiant people cannot force a shutdown of services, adding that acts of intimidation will not be tolerated.

Cogta Minister Des Van Rooyen, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha in Vuwani. Picture: Pelane Phakgadi/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Vuwani residents have snubbed a meeting with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to discuss the resurgence of anti-demarcation protests in the Limpopo town.

Mbalula was there on Thursday after residents once again shut down the area demanding to be reincorporated into their previous municipality.

The latest flare-up of violence saw two people killed in a car accident that police say was caused by barricades along a main road.

Schooling and other services have also been disrupted.

When Eyewitness News arrived at the Vuwani community hall on Thursday where the meeting between Mbalula, his Cooperative Governance counterpart Des van Rooyen and residents was scheduled to take place, the venue was locked.

It’s not clear why the community stayed away and whether the ministers' earlier calls for calm reached them after the recent shutdown.

It remains to be seen if schooling will resume on Friday morning.

The inter-ministerial task team led by Van Rooyen has said it will do everything in its power to make sure there is stability in the troubled town.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says a few defiant people cannot force a shutdown of services, adding that acts of intimidation will not be tolerated.

"We cannot allow our country and our people to be subjected to the grip and fever of being frightened by a coterie few (sic)."

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)