President Jacob Zuma has met Vha-Venda King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana to discuss the troubling situation at Vuwani, Limpopo. Picture: Jacques Naude
Vuwani – President Jacob Zuma has called on all community members in the strife-torn Vuwani district in Limpopo to work to bring about normalcy in the community and urged school pupils and teachers to return to school. 

Residents in the area have been protesting for several weeks demanding that the area be re-incorporated into the Makhado municipality. 

Last year, residents went on the rampage for about three months in protest against the decision by government to incorporate the area into the new local municipality in Malamulele (LIM 345). 

At least 24 schools and many vehicles, among others, were destroyed by fire during the violent protests. Zuma visited Vuwani on Sunday. His visit followed a meeting he had with Vha Venda king Toni Mphephu Ramabulana last week, the presidency said in a statement. 

On Sunday, Zuma met Ramabulana and other leaders representing various community stakeholders, including church leaders, traditional leaders, business, youth, and the pro-Makhado group, the presidency said. 

The meeting accepted Ramabulana's proposal that the Vhembe district municipality should provide services to the people of Vuwani while a solution on the demarcation issue was being sought. 

It was further decided that relevant national and provincial government departments should provide support to the district municipality to carry out this new mandate. 

"The meeting emphasised that the decision does NOT mean that the new municipality (LIM 345) is being disestablished," the presidency said. 

Zuma, Ramabulana, and all leaders present at the meeting called on all community members in Vuwani to work to bring about normalcy in the community. School pupils and teachers in particular were urged to go back to school. 

Zuma would go back to the district to address all community members, those who were against the newly established municipality and those who were for it. 

After assessing the situation on Sunday, a conclusion was reached that the community meeting was not representative of the whole community affected by the establishment of the new municipality. It was mostly composed by those who opposed the new municipality. 

"President Zuma wishes to meet everybody and benefit from the diversity of opinions. He believes that the solution to the Vuwani issue should be inclusive," the presidency said. 

African News Agency