On Monday, City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, finally faced the disgruntled Alexandra township after ignoring the community’s calls to meet for close to a week. It turned out to be a tense engagement that did not last very long.
As reported by Times Live, the mayor’s visit came after the dust had settled behind President Cyril Ramaphosa’s parade on Thursday, where his authority in the province was questioned by the president.
Herman Mashaba heckled at Alex community meeting
Ramaphosa had pleaded with the Alex community, to allow Mashaba, who at the time, had not shown up in seven days since the protests broke out, a chance to perform his duties.
The community had vowed to maintain order and allow Mashaba time but the results of Monday’s engagement was nothing close to convivial.
Gathered at the Marlboro Community Centre in Alex, the mayor’s attempts to engage with the community leadership, as part of the Integrated Development Plan, were trampled on by factions in the crowd who did not want to hear him speak.
This was also going to be Mashaba’s platform to expose the names of the ANC officials he has accused of illegally benefitting from the R1-billion that was earmarked for the Alex Renewal Project.
“ANC using poor people” – Mashaba
After Monday’s engagements fell through, the mayor accused the disruptors of being ANC cadres on a political agenda.
“The ANC is using poor and vulnerable people, taking advantage of their plight, to protect the exposure of the Alexandra Renewal Project and the disappearance of the funds meant for the development of Alexandra,” he wrote in a tweet.
Since Monday’s events, the mayor has been dealing with a lot of backlash from people who think that he had left the visit to the township too late.
But why, why now, leadership must learn to take community matters very serious. @HermanMashaba chose to walk his dog because it was a routine not to be missed, and the community meeting was long scheduled after dog walk. He must walk his dog in Alex, unless the dog likes Sandton
— Derick Thikithana (@derickshangwi) April 16, 2019
U failed dismally Mayor –
1. U failed to attend community when they called u first time
2. Instead of going to Alex to adress community u go to Marlboro
U missed all opportunities – u didn’t act like a mayor FACT
— Willy Ledwaba (@FreeLefase) April 16, 2019