Marikana calm after political tensions

Economic Freedom Fighters supporters disrupt the unveiling of a mixed housing project in Marikana. File picture: Itumeleng English

Economic Freedom Fighters supporters disrupt the unveiling of a mixed housing project in Marikana. File picture: Itumeleng English

Published Apr 5, 2016

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Rustenburg – Calm has returned to Marikana near Rustenburg following heightened tensions between rival political parties in the build up to the local government elections later this year.

“The situation in Marikana is calm no incidents were reported. The police continue to monitor the area,” North West police spokesperson Major Amanda Funani said on Tuesday.

Tension erupted in the mining town last week when members of the African National Congress (ANC) clashed with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members during campaigning for the coming local government election.

The tension was also believed to have been caused by the illegal occupation of houses in Marikana West.

EFF provincial spokesperson Thabo Sehloho said the ANC was under pressure which left them without any strategy to campaign for the local government election, and they had instead opted to engage in violent activities and continuously blame EFF for the rejection they encountered from the broader community.

“The citizens of the republic is tired with their lies and empty promises. We, as EFF, will never let ANC to continue to harass our community and members of EFF in Marikana, it is high time that ANC must accept loss and accept that indeed EFF is the organisation of the people and it belongs to the people.”

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, who is also the provincial chairman of the ANC in North West, appealed for calm in Marikana when he visited the area on Sunday.

He said serious actions should be taken against community members who were continuing to illegally occupy the recently built Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses in Marikana West.

“We are going to engage the Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, as well as the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, David van Rooyen, to help in ensuring that these houses are occupied by the rightful beneficiaries.

“We are not going to allow lawlessness to prevail in Marikana, while there are clear laws governing our country,” Mahumapelo said.

Residents claimed EFF members occupied the houses illegally.

In January, when the houses were handed over to the Rustenburg municipality, a group believed to be EFF members and led by activist Napoleon Webster protested and vowed to occupy the houses. They claimed the houses were meant for mineworkers in Marikana.

African News Agency

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