South Africans will in a very short while, be engaged in one of the crucial moments of their time, a time to decide who will move the nation forward through their municipalities.
While this will be taking place, some communities might be exempted from the process following the unending violence that has erupted in the areas, One of such is the Vuwani community.
Residents of Vuwani community have refused to mellow down in their quest for reversal of Municipal Demarcation Board’s decision to merge Vuwani and Malamulele to form a new municipality.
The residents are therefore insistent that there might possibly be no election taking place in the community in August except the Municipal Demarcation Board adheres to their call.
“Residents of Vuwani will stop protesting only after the local government elections, one of the community leaders, Arnold Mulaudzi, said yesterday.
“We only agreed that businesses must begin operating again on August 4 and children must go back to school, but there will not be any elections taking place on August 3.”
He stressed that no Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) official would be allowed to work in the area on election day.
Mulaudzi further lamented how government have failed to heed their plea to reverse the decision to merge Vuwani with Malamulele and other surrounding villages to form a new municipality
“Government has not shown any signs of reversing the decision to merge Vuwani with Malamulele and other surrounding villages to form a new municipality and. as a result, we decided that no elections would take place here, meaning there won’t be any local government beyond August 3 until such time that our demands are met,” said Mulaudzi.
However, the acting national police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane, at a police briefing in Pretoria recently, promised to engage the municipality heavily with the army on the election day.
Phahlane said the main responsibility of the police would be to ensure safe and peaceful elections. However, Mulaudzi said they would never be intimidated by anyone, including the army.
“There is no state of emergency and we will never be defeated by the army because those people don’t just go around killing people. But if government wants to create another Marikana, we will always be prepared,” he said.
Anarchy In Vuwani
Meanwhile, Chief Livhuwani Matsila reiterated that Vuwani is steadily becoming a violent village, a place where anarchy has become the order of the day.
“Anarchy still rules the villages, which means children are still unable to go to school; with the elections just around the corner, it will be very difficult for IEC officials to penetrate some of the voting stations in Vuwani because there are still attempts by some to cause violence.”
Violence in the village have halted all educational activities and has seen nearly 30 schools torched. Locals have, for some time, been demanding that the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) reverse its decision to merge Vuwani and Malamulele and other surrounding villages to form a new municipality.
Both the MDB and the department of Cooperative governance and traditional affairs have repeatedly said the matter can only be reversed legally.
Apart from Vuwani community, other parts of South Africa have also experienced violent protests over an array of issues. Two of those are Tshwane and KwaZulu-Natal which have seen a large number dead.