People arrested at Samwu march

By Molaole Montsho Time of article published Oct 12, 2012

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Rustenburg -

Fifty people were arrested under the Regulation of Gatherings Act in Rustenburg on Friday after infiltrating a protest march by the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu).

They were isolated and arrested when union leaders alerted the police that a group had joined the march with the intention of disrupting it.

“They will be charged under the... act,” said Captain Elsabe Augoustides.

Samwu in the Bojanala region was protesting against corruption, fraud, maladministration, nepotism and political interference in administration by councillors.

Union members dressed in red T-shirts marched to the Bojanala municipality's offices to hand over a memorandum.

“We are sick and tired ka 1/8with 3/8 corruption,” they chanted as the march proceeded along Oliver Tambo Drive. Some waved placards.

In a memorandum addressed to North West local government MEC China Dodovu and Bojanala mayor Louis Diremelo, the union said it was worried about the slow pace at which issues affecting service delivery had been handled.

It demanded the removal of all mayors in the five local municipalities within Bojanala, and that all municipalities in the district be placed under administration.

Regional secretary Marks Molepo said if the demands were not responded to within seven days, the union would stage a “sustained protest action” at individual municipalities.

The five local municipalities in Bojanala are Rustenburg, Moses Kotane, Kgetlengrevier, Madibeng and Moretele.

Samwu alleged that Moses Kotane municipality failed to provide residents with clean water and spend municipal infrastructure grants, and was unable to collect rates and taxes.

In Moretele, the union alleged that R88 000 had been stolen from the office of the mayor, and that R1million had been paid to a service provider before it rendered services.

The union lamented Madibeng's appointed as municipal manager while corruption charges were pending against him.

It alleged that he was charged and suspended by the municipality which later appointed him as a municipal manager.

In Rustenburg, the union said politicians were interfering with administration.

It also called for the resignation of executive mayor Mpho Khonou over the salary paid to speaker Matthew Wolmarans, who is serving 20 years in jail after being convicted for the murder of whistleblower Moss Phakoe.

Phakoe was gunned down at his Rustenburg Noord home in 2009, after compiling a dossier on corruption in the Rustenburg local municipality. - Sapa

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