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Cele postpones Jhb imbizo over ‘clash’ with reed dance event

Bheki Cele told angry Jeppestown residents he would hear their grievances on Sunday, but he says there was a clash with the reed dance that indunas have to attend.

Police Minister Bheki Cele addresses community members in Jeppestown following unrest on 2 September 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The police ministry says all precautions have been taken to ensure that postponing Sunday’s imbizo on Johannesburg riots doesn’t flare up more violence.

The imbizo is aimed at finding a lasting solution to restoring calm in areas affected by acts of violent crime.

Video: Cele: no need for SANDF in Johannesburg

On Tuesday, Cele told angry Jeppestown residents he would hear their grievances on Sunday, but he says there was a clash with the reed dance that indunas have to attend.

When the minister went to the area following acts of violence and criminality, some residents were adamant they wouldn’t wait for the Sunday imbizo and they wanted foreigners gone immediately.

But Cele said some indunas have to attend the annual reed dance in KwaZulu-Natal.

Cele’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said stakeholders are confident communities will understand why the imbizo was postponed.

“The izinduna made an undertaking that they will spread the message to their various communities and they will be on the lookout for a date that will be announced in due course.”

She says postponing to a later date will allow for a maximum attendance of all affected parties.

And the minister has sent a strong message to police officers on the ground to continue to maintain law and order, and for communities to continue to respect the rule of law.