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Alex residents vow to continue with protest until Ramaphosa, Makhura come

Demonstrators said they were disappointed but not surprised by Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s failure to accept their memorandum.

Protesting Alexandra residents on 8 April 2019 carry car tyres as they make their way to the City of Johannesburg local municipal offices. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Protesters in Alexandra say they will only call off their plans to place the township on lockdown after they are addressed by either President Cyril Ramaphosa or Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Demonstrators said they were disappointed but not surprised by Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s failure to accept their memorandum.

They marched from their homes in Alexandra to the municipal offices in Sandton on Monday.

After repeatedly calling on Mashaba to address them, Alexandra residents said they wanted answers from Ramaphosa.

Mashaba failed to accept their memorandum for the second time, saying he will only arrive in the township if he is accompanied by Ramaphosa and Makhura.

Protest convener Kenneth Mgaga said if their renewed call is also ignored, the plan of action is clear.

“If the president doesn’t take us seriously and the premier as well, then we are going to burn here. There is nothing political about this, they must come here and push this mayor to come and give us services.”

He added: “Today he [Mashaba] undermined the people of Alex by bringing the city manager whose not elected by the people.”

The politicising of the unrest in Alexandra has been a sore point for residents, with many saying they feel neglected and used by their leaders.

Protesters said they were ready to face any police action on Thursday when they plan to once again place the township on lockdown.

They said they had no choice but to return to the streets to pressure government to tackle crime and provide services.

WATCH: Alexandra Residents: This could have been avoided by Mashaba

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