Mayor Van Eeden confirms he has not visited Nkqubela township following violence

South African Human Rights Commissioner Chris Nissen criticised local government for a lack of representation.

Zimbabwean and Lesotho communities are driving urgent efforts to end the violence in Robertson's Nkqubela Township.

CAPE TOWN - Langeberg's Mayor Schalk van Eeden has confirmed he's not yet visited the Nkqubela township at Robertson in the Western Cape following the violence there but said he has been consistently involved in finding a resolution.

South African Human Rights Commissioner Chris Nissen criticised local government for a lack of representation.

Robertson's Rural Legal Centre said they've also requested several meetings with the municipality but to no avail.

By Friday evening, tensions were still running high in the township, where fighting among farm workers saw homes burnt down, stores looted, several people assaulted, and hundreds displaced.

Commissioner Chris Nissen was scathing about the municipality failing to show face when it mattered the most.

“Don’t stay away. Local government representatives, once elected, are so scared to come back to the people who elected them. And now we ask ourselves why we elect people who can’t come back to us?”

Clashes continued throughout the Friday night, but over the weekend, a sense of calm finally returned.

Mayor van Eeden hasn't been in the township since, but says he was at the entrance to the area last week.

Both activists and residents of Nkqubela township have slammed the mayor's absence from their community over the past few days, and have yet to see him engage directly with local leaders.