Board exposes Magashule's government
The Free State government, led by Premier Ace Magashule, was yesterday exposed as being behind the proposal to merge the Sasolburg and Parys municipalities.
During a meeting between members of the Municipal Demarcations Board and leaders of Sasolburg's Zamdela community yesterday, it transpired that the merger proposal came from Magashule's administration.
Board chairman Landiwe Mahlangu said the proposal was made in November.
This revelation flies in the face of repeated denials by Magashule that he had anything to do with the merger.
His spokesman, Oupa Khoabane, yesterday stuck to the premier's line.
"Magashule is not responsible for demarcation processes."
He said opposition parties were peddling the lie to gain political mileage.
Last week, Zamdela residents took to the streets after being told of the merger proposal.
With no clear information from local and provincial officials, they fell to violence and looting of businesses in Zamdela. Six people were killed and millions were lost in infrastructure damage.
Residents blamed Magashule, saying he wanted to prop up his home town of Parys.
Last week, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi suspended the proposed merger.
Community leader Lucky Maleba said: " We can say with utmost certainty that this merger is not going ahead.
"Magashule last week told us the process is 'non-existent'. When we pushed for an explanation, he told us to get a dictionary.
"If it is non-existent, why are we here?
"He has not addressed the problem. We do not care what he or the government have to say," he said.
"Why would we agree to merge with a municipality that has had hundreds of millions of rands stolen through corruption.
"I tell you this will not happen."