Van Rooyen: Unruly elements to blame for Zuma no show in Vuwani

Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen says it was not safe for Zuma to address the community.

FILE: Cooperative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen says unruly elements at a community meeting in Vuwani and a volatile situation is to blame for President Jacob Zuma’s no show in the town on Sunday.

Zuma was supposed to address residents in the troubled Limpopo town after almost a month of lockdown.

When the president didn’t show up to speak to the community, residents damaged vehicles and public property.

Van Rooyen says it was not safe for Zuma to address the community.

“The address by the president might also trigger some reaction from those who were not included in the meeting, that’s why an appropriate decision had to be taken.”

The police say the area is calm on Monday morning after four people were arrested in connection with Sunday’s violence.

WAITING FOR PRESIDENT ZUMA

The residents waited hours for Zuma to arrive on Sunday and address them on the demarcation crisis.

They are demanding that their area is reincorporated into the Makhado Municipality and not a new municipality in Malamulele.

Van Rooyen, along with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and State Security Minister David Mahlobo, left the area driving at high speed, just moments after residents demanded to be addressed by President Zuma.

Sources say the president was advised to leave, citing safety concerns.

Community leader Nsovo Sambo says he does not understand why the president kept hundreds of residents waiting for him, only to leave without coming anywhere near the venue.

“We had the president at the stakeholders’ briefing but he didn’t show up here to address the masses, the people he said he's coming to address.”

Several cars were damaged, including at least two belonging to the SABC.

Police cleared the area and are now keeping an eye on the situation.

[LISTEN] The reason why Zuma didn't address Vuwani community

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)