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17 Aug 2012 08:00
Cape Town ANC councillor Andile Lili claims that, while the president is building Zumaville, his supporters around the country are living in desperate squalor and will revolt. (David Harrison, M&G)
Lili claims that, while the president is building Zumaville, his supporters around the country are living in desperate squalor and will revolt.
But, in the Western Cape, he said the anger that led to the recent spate of service delivery protests could be blamed on the Democratic Alliance-run administration.
"People will revolt, even against the ANC, because our leaders are failing the poor people," said Lili, who is also on the executive committee of the ANC's Dullah Omar region and lives in poverty-stricken Makhaza in Khayeltisha.
"The ANC is failing the people across the country. We are seeing what the DA is doing by letting us down here, and we can only ask why the ANC is also failing its people dismally.
Our president is building Zumaville [a new town near the president's birthplace, Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal].
Lili said the recent protests were not politically motivated and disputed claims by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille that the ANC and the ANC Youth League had stoked the violent protests.
"There are no elections happening now. It has just got so bad people can't wait any longer. Even the children are saying enough is enough, and want to go into the front line."
According to the local government data and intelligence service, Municipal IQ, of all the provinces, the Western Cape has been worst afflicted by protests this year.
Violent protests are a key concern, it states – 88% of protests in various provinces turned violent.
"Almost half of July's protests took place in informal settlements and speaks to the desperation of these communities living on the margins of local economies during the bitter winter months."
Municipal IQ warns political and community leaders to address community grievances constructively to avoid the violence and destruction that has typified protests in 2012.
But Zille and De Lille claim that the ANC and the ANC Youth League are waging a campaign in Cape Town and the Western Cape to make them ungovernable. At a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday, they both claimed the violence is orchestrated.
"Mayor Patricia de Lille and I have today written to President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as president of the ANC, requesting that he make a public pronouncement condemning the ANC Youth League's violent attempts to make the city of Cape Town ungovernable, and that he begin to show leadership in defending the rights of peaceful, law-abiding citizens," Zille said.
But she admitted that her previous letters to him on the same subject had gone unanswered.
The two women have laid charges against the youth league, after a memorandum was handed to Zille's office, stating the intent to make the city "ungovernable".
CCTV footage of riots along the N2, which the two leaders say show how the protests are co-ordinated and controlled by loud-hailers, has also been handed to the police.
The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and the University of the Witwatersrand analysed protests in Gauteng and Mpumalanga and found that ANC factions played a leading role in them.
But Lili said the recent protests in Cape Town were not influenced by the upcoming ANC elective conference in Mangaung in December, or by the fact the DA ran the province.
"This DA-run city is doing the same as some ANC leaders, and not setting a good example," he said. "It is just not good enough because they do not have a high morality. Instead they are a disappointment to the poor people of the country.
"We can't tolerate Zumaville. Everybody is talking about it. It is really not right for the president to be looking after his own interests. His children are now rich because of their father, who is not treating the ANC as the head of a family should."
On Monday morning, four of the main arterial routes into Cape Town were closed by police. On Tuesday and Wednesday, metro police were streaming into Khayelitsha, and the protests subsided.
Life in the city continued as usual, but that, according to Lili, was simply because Cape Town was a place of two cities.
"Look at our poor people, you see how they are living," he said. "They are being treated as pigs.
"They build a stadium costing billions, oblivious to our situation, right here in Cape Town. How much longer can this go on?
"We continue to meet Helen Zille and Patricia de Lille, but people are still living with the bucket system, and others without electrification."
The chairperson of the youth league in the Dullah Omar region, Khaya Yozi, said his organisation was equally fed up with Zille and De Lille: "They have taken a political stance, but they have no evidence to back up their claims that the ANC Youth League can be held accountable for these protests in Cape Town. The premier and the mayor laid charges against the ANC Youth League, accusing us of trying to incite violence, but it is not true. The police have not come to question us."
Yozi (29) lives with his parents in an RDP house in Lusaka in Nyanga. "We were lucky to get a house. My parents added on another bedroom to the one-bedroom house."
Yozi said he considered himself lucky that he was not still living with the bucket sanitation system, like some of his neighbours in Khayelitsha.
The service delivery protests had escalated into violence, and had begun spontaneously, he said.
"When we marched on the premier's office, it was orderly," Yozi said. "These protests had an element of anarchy about them. The DA has an obligation to provide service delivery to us in the province."
Lili was at the forefront of the protests about open toilets in the area in 2010 and tensions are building up in the city council, because De Lille has asked the National Prosecuting Authority to review a decision not to prosecute Lili in connection with a fracas during which open toilets were destroyed.
More than 60 people were arrested in connection with protests in Cape Town in the past week, but no arrests have been made in connection with the at least four people who died during the violence, including a 20-month-old baby.
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