National

Madibeng municipality's inaction 'cost lives'

Zain Ebrahim

The implementation of a ministerial report from a year ago could have saved lives in Mothotlung by averting the fatal protests over water delivery.

Four people were killed in Mothotlung as a result of protests over water shortages. (Gallo)

The implementation of a ministerial report that, a year ago, called for disciplinary action and even criminal prosecution of top Madibeng municipal officials will be considered next week.

The Madibeng municipality covers the village of Mothotlung near Brits in the North West province, where four people were killed as a result of protests over water shortages last week. The district has experienced regular severe interruptions of water supply since at least August last year.

The damning ministerial report, commissioned by former co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Richard Baloyi, was released in February last year but never implemented.

An ANC national working committee statement issued on Monday said that, if the report had been implemented last year, "the service delivery protest and unfortunate loss of life in Madibeng would have been averted".

Madibeng Democratic Alliance ward councillor Leon Basson said a special council meeting will be held next week to discuss the implementation of the ministerial report as a matter of urgency.

The report recommends ­disciplinary action and criminal prosecution of the municipal manager, Monde Juta; the acting chief operations officer, Andrew Modise; the acting head of corporate services, Xola Magwala; and speaker Buti Makhongela.

Meanwhile, Madibeng's mayor and chief whip, as well as Makhongela, resigned this week.

Pasture Maremo, a regional chairperson of the South African National Civic Organisation, expressed concern about the officials' replacements, saying they were part of the same ANC faction.

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