'Ramaphosa expects me to drop everything and come to Alexandra, while he never went to Marikana'

By Thembelihle Mkhonza Time of article published Apr 16, 2019

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Johannesburg - "President Cyril Ramaphosa was expecting me to drop everything and come to Alexandra, while he never went to Marikana," Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba told reporters at a media briefing on Monday after he failed to address Alexandra residents. 

"If the president knows how to act fast, he could have acted in Marikana, where people were murdered and they were calling him to listen to them but he never go there, he has the guts to tell me to leave everything and go to Alexandra," said an angry Mashaba, adding that it was personal. 

Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng premier David Makhura visited the township to address the protesting residents.

Ramaphosa asked a team of ministers to engage with community leaders and report back to him. He also told the Joburg metro to clean up the township.

On Monday evening Mashaba was heckled and booed off the stage by a disgruntled crowd as the meeting meant to address the service delivery problems in the township faltered.

Alexandra residents had been waiting for Mashaba to address them since protest action began in the township last week. 

The mayor finally went there on Monday evening but was prevented from chairing the Integrated Development Plan session that was meant to take place.

Residents gathered at the Malboro community hall but refused to allow the meeting to get under way. Others complained about using a venue in Marlboro to discuss issues about Alexandra. 

Residents listened to their leaders when they handed over a memorandum listing demands on issues such as services and illegal settlements.

The crowd, mainly ANC members, burst into song soon after the Mashaba took to the podium.

Mashaba could not utter a word and left the podium. Some pelted him and his delegation with papers and empty water bottles.

The service-delivery protest has turned into a blame game. The DA-led coalition running the metro accuses the ANC of instigating protests as an election ploy.

"You politicians must stop pointing fingers at each other we want service delivery," the memorandum said.

Mashaba was accompanied by hundreds of police during his Alexandra visit.

African News Agency/ANA

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