Cape Town - Western Cape
Premier Helen Zille, who had been criticised by the poo protesters for not turning up to receive their memorandums, came out to accept one on Wednesday but was heckled and jeered by 3 000 protesters outside the provincial legislature.
During previous marches organised by the Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement, protesters complained about Zille sending junior staff members to accept memorandums.
On Wednesday, Zille signed their memorandum but when she asked to address the crowd she was booed by most of the protesters, who also shouted at her to leave. Zille went back to her office without speaking.
The march had been organised by the Western Cape Social & Economic Development Forum, but it became apparent Ses’khona was at the forefront of the march when its leaders Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla took over.
The pair, also members of the ANC, controlled the crowd as it made its way through the streets in the CBD to the legislature. Traffic along Wale Street was blocked as the crowd toyi-toyied and mocked Zille in song.
Among many demands, the group called for the dismissal of Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela who they say failed in his mandate of delivering housing.
Others were that the provincial government provide land for housing, work speedily to clear the housing backlog, intervene on evictions by the city and prioritise services to poor communities.
Nkohla said they would give Zille seven days to respond. The organisations would return to the legislature in two weeks for a response.
He said if Zille wanted to address the marchers, it should be at a place where more residents from poor communities would be present.
Nkohla also had a message for ANC provincial chairman Marius Fransman and ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile. He told them votes of Ses’khona-affiliated members were not for free. “It must be a win-win situation. The ANC must put something on the table for these people. If you give us what we want then we will be at the ANC’s Siyanqoba rally,” Nkohla said.
Ses’khona has previously said that if the ANC made a commitment on releasing land owned by the Department of Public Works, it would encourage members to vote.
Zille shook her head as Fransman launched an attack on the provincial government and the DA. He said it was unacceptable to divide the Western Cape into two.
“(Zille) has divided the rich and the poor,” he told the crowd.
By providing sub-standard services such as the porta-potties toilets to poor communities, Zille and the DA-led government were racist.
Later Zille said Fransman’s speech was “full of lies” and that he had denied her the right of reply. “His followers then went off and looted some stalls on the Parade.
“That tells people precisely what the ANC has become.”