Nepotism in Eastern Cape municipality to be probed

Investigation follows weeks of protests in Stutterheim

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Photo of a truck burning
A truck was set alight on the N6 in Stutterheim on Wednesday. Photo supplied

The National Treasury is to probe allegations of nepotism and “jobs for sale” at the Amahlathi Local Municipality, following weeks of protests in Stutterheim. This was announced by Eastern Cape Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Xasa on Tuesday after a meeting with protesters.

“We need to find lasting solutions,” said Xasa.

But protesters have vowed to continue their protest until all their demands are met.

On Wednesday two trucks were set alight on the N6. Police spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa said police had to use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. She said protesters ran to hide in bushes.

Stutterheim youth have been protesting since last month. One man has died in hospital after police action. The case is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate. Two municipal buildings and a clinic have been burnt and a truck carrying juice was burnt two weeks ago.

Amahlathi Local Municipality spokesperson Anathi Nyoka said the Stutterheim offices were not operating, and employees were not at work. She said only the Keiskammahoek and Cathcart satellite offices were operating.

One of the protest leaders who did not want to be named told GroundUp the protests were intended to speed up the process of the investigation.

“Last month after our first protest we had a meeting with the municipal officials and Xasa. Resolutions were taken but none were followed. This investigation they are going to conduct was suppose to start last month but that did not happen,” he said.

He said they had told Xasa that if their demands were not met they would not vote in national and local elections.

“For now we agreed to let businesses operate and workers return to work but when the municipality starts to operate again we want to see change. We are tired of people who abuse their power. People are not hired because they qualify for the job. They have to buy it or know someone inside. We are tired of that and we won’t rest until we see corrupt officials being fired,” he said.

The protests would continue until protesters were given a time-frame for the investigation, he said.

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TOPICS:  Corruption Unemployment

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