'We've got to move on' Mbalula tells Vuwani protesters

Minister says a decision was taken and cannot be reversed, it is now time for law and order to prevail

'We've got to move on' Mbalula tells Vuwani protesters

20 April 2017

Polokwane - Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula said the decision over the Vuwani demarcation has been made and cannot be reversed; protest action must end and pave way for peace.

"A decision has been taken at an objective level, and it cannot be reversed, we got to move on… law and order must prevail," said Mbalula.

Mbalula was speaking during an inter-ministerial committee media briefing in Polokwane on Thursday.

"We are aware that there are those who don't want peace. They are equally sophisticated but not more than the state. We have been lenient over time in dealing with them, and very reasonable and now they have terrorised society, and shut down the schools and barred people from going to work," said Mbalula.

Residents of Vuwani took to the streets after the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) refused to review decision, which saw their area incorporated into Lim345.

They are refusing to be part of the municipality in Malamulele saying it was conceived by the violent demand of Malamulele residents.

Appeal dismissed

But Mbalula insists that violence must end, and that residents have to accept MDB decision and move on.

"Those who are perpetrating the violence, whether small fish or big fish... perpetrators with selfish interest masquerading as community leaders will be brought to book," said Mbalula.

"We will therefore continue to engage them on this matter and other matters that the provincial government has been working with the community since this issue started and we will continue to work tirelessly with them in the area."

Leader of the inter-ministerial team Makoma Makhurupetje who is also Co-operative Governance MEC in the province, said the position of the committee on the current situation is that learners must "go back to school" and those being intimidated should report to the police.

"We cannot afford anymore disruptions in Vuwani and we are appealing to parents to work with us to protect their children's future."

In March, the Municipal Demarcation Board informed the community that their appeal to have the decision reversed had been dismissed.

Co-operative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen said that government respect the decision taken by the MDB.

"The decisions of demarcation board and the ruling by court suggest that we should engage the community so that they can start accepting the decision as if the final determination."

It has emerged that some sectors of the community has accepted the decision but there is some resistance from others that use to be called the Pro Makhado Demarcation group.

However, the news was not welcomed in the area, and fresh violence erupted which shutdown business and government service points to shut down.

Van Rooyen said that they are working with the security cluster to ensure that service delivery is rolled out through the new municipality.

More than twenty five schools were burnt in 2016 when violence erupted after residents lost a high court bid to have the decision reversed.