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Residents complain to Protector

Johannesburg - The community of Piet Retief in Mpumalanga complained about a lack of services and human rights abuses in the area during a visit by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Thursday, her office said.

Madonsela visited Piet Retief as part of her office's commemoration of Human Rights Month.

Advocate Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Complaints included allegations of corruption regarding the allocation of RDP houses, poor policing, lack of water and electricity, and nepotism.

“The community alleged that they were excluded from the Mkhonto local municipality's integrated development plan,” Madonsela's spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi said in a statement.

Residents told Madonsela they approached, among others, the premier's office, the land affairs department and the SA Human Rights Commission for help, but to no avail.

Madonsela also met with farmdwellers, who made numerous allegations of human rights abuses committed by white farmers in the area, Masibi said.

The allegations included evictions, and being shot at by farmers, with one farmworker having allegedly lost both eyes and legs.

They complained that they were denied access to water and ancestral burial sites, grazing land and accused authorities of failure to hold the farmers to account.

“The public protector promised the complainants that she would take up their problems with the municipality, relevant departments and the premier to ensure quicker intervention,” Masibi said.

“Other complex matters raised would be investigated.”

Sapa

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