Poo protest leaders threaten chaos

Cape Town - Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla have again threatened to bring chaos and “ungovernability” to the city centre, apparently because Premier Helen Zille would not meet with them in person.

The duo pioneered Cape Town’s poo protests last year and led a march of informal settlement dwellers on the city centre. The march descended into chaos when a group of marchers broke away from a picket in front of the provincial parliament and looted traders’ stalls in the city centre.

Cape Town poo protest leader Andile Lili File photo: Thomas Holder. Credit: Independent Newspapers

After this, a group of religious and community leaders formed the Concerned Citizens Group (CCG) to mediate with the informal settlement leaders. Yesterday, Lili and Nkohla met with a CCG delegation to discuss the agenda for a planned meeting with city and provincial officials to discuss grievances over poor sanitation services in many of the city’s informal settlements.

“Our engagements are always cordial, but there was obvious frustration from their side because we could not give a guarantee that the premier would be present at the meeting,” said the Rev Gordon Oliver, a CCG representative.

Oliver was however, shocked to see statements, published in the media this morning, in which Lili and Nkohla threatened violence and another march on the CBD. He then issued a call for calm and a continuation of “peaceful discussion”.

Meanwhile, the group have approached Zille’s office to inquire about the possibility of her attending the meeting, on February 5, in person. However, Zille’s spokesman Zak Mbhele this morning said that the premier would not attend the meeting.

“Lili and Nkohla’s statements reveal very clearly the political nature of their agenda,” he said.

“Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela already met with them in a lengthy meeting on November 27 where he explained what the Western Cape Government was doing to deliver on all the programmes of the provincial Department of Human Settlements.

“That they ignore this and continue to threaten ungovernability simply shows bad faith.”

The cellphones of Lili and Nkohla were switched off this morning.