Situation in Vuwani tense after Zuma fails to address community meeting - Times LIVE
   
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Mon May 29 13:24:26 SAST 2017

Situation in Vuwani tense after Zuma fails to address community meeting

TMG Digital | 2017-05-07 16:19:17.0
Several vehicles and VIP toilets were damaged during protests in Vuwani yesterday.
Image by: SUPPLIED

The situation in the violence-wracked Limpopo town of Vuwani was reported to be tense on Sunday after President Jacob Zuma failed to address a community meeting.

The Presidency said in a statement that it was concluded that the meeting was “not representative” of all those affected by the town’s inclusion in a new municipality.

ENCA reported that the crowd became increasingly uneasy when they were instead addressed by cooperative governance minister Des van Rooyen‚ whom they heckled and booed.

It said residents of Vuwani left the meeting without being addressed by Zuma on Sunday afternoon. There were reports of some cars being stoned by angry residents.

SA Gov News @SAgovnews tweeted on Sunday afternoon: “The situation in #Vuwani is tense - the leadership leaves Vuwani‚ Limpopo.”

Residents of the town have been protesting over the past few weeks‚ demanding that Vuwani be re-incorporated into the Makhado municipality.

In 2016‚ residents took to the streets for more than three months‚ protesting against a government decision to incorporate the area into LIM345‚ a municipality east of the township in Malamulele. More than 24 schools were torched during the violent protests.

In a statement‚ the Presidency said that Zuma had visited Vuwani on Sunday following a meeting he had had with King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana of Vha-Venda last week.

“The President met with His Majesty and other leaders representing various community stakeholders including church leaders‚ traditional leaders‚ business‚ youth and the pro-Makhado group. The meeting accepted His Majesty's proposal that the Vhembe District Municipality should provide services to the people of Vuwani while a solution on the demarcation issue is 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 statement read.

It added that the meeting emphasised that the decision did not mean that the new municipality (LIM 345) was being disestablished.

“President Zuma‚ His Majesty the King and all leaders present at the meeting called upon all community members in Vuwani to work to bring about normalcy in the community. Learners and educators in particular were urged to go back to school.

“President Zuma will go back to the district to address all community members‚ those who are against the newly established municipality and those who are for‚” the Presidency said.

It added: “After assessing the situation today‚ 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 oppose 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.”

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