Khuma mob storms municipal building

Posted in Latest News

Lentswe, Klerksdorp - Nine people were arrested for public violence after invading the Matlosana municipal building on Thursday 4 April in Klerksdorp.

The run up to this protest already started on Wednesday 3 April when some Khuma residents were seen singing slogans, closing the main entrance to Khuma with burning tyres, while two trucks were also used to close the road.

Motorists were told that there’s no entry and had to use the Orkney/Potchefstroom road to enter Khuma.

The next morning, this group invaded the municipality causing chaos in the halls of the building, scaring staff who evacuated the building.

On the arrival of Lentswe, a large number of police was seen patrolling the building, chasing the invaders, while others were found lying on the ground inside not far from the main entrance.

Ntswaki Makgetha, spokesperson, was shocked and told Lentswe, she was having a staff meeting when they heard the screams outside. Her office is on the ground floor and they locked themselves inside while people from outside tried to open the door. They left the building when the mob moved upstairs. Later they heard the mob took cash and cellphones from employees, threatening them.

Another official, Nancy Cromhout, said one official suffered an asthma attack and was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

“We were shocked, we didn’t know what was happening. We are still worried as we were not even provided counselling after that trauma,” another official said afterwards.

Rumours that the municipal Speaker, Washington Ntozini was grabbed and removed from his office at gunpoint.
Ntozini who was limping when Lentswe spoke to him, denied being pointed with a firearm, but confirmed that he was forcefully removed and injured his leg.

Nine suspects, eight men and 1 woman were arrested and briefly appeared in the Klerksdorp Magistrate Court on Friday 5 April on a charge of public violence.

They were released on a warning and will re-appear on the 29 May after further investigation.

The suspects are Siphelo Mbutye (29), Jack Maishwane (23), Modise Nunu (39), Rantsho Sebapole (38), Samuel Ntandane (49), Tshidiso Bucwa (32), Sediba Khambule (29), Mandla Mtshutshana (42) and Mosidi Ratlhogo (51).

Lentswe learned that the Khuma residents are upset about the handling of an issue concerning rock dumps known as “ditotoma’’ by Mayor Maetu Kgaile.

Leaders of the concerned community denied to speak to Lentswe on Friday 5 April outside court. Speaking to Mayor Kgaile she said: “I cannot and do not intend to use rock dumps as government projects. Rock dumps were donated, but the process is not yet finalised.

“On the same day, we had a meeting with the leadership of the community together with the provincial and the national leadership.”

According to the mayor, the leadership included provincial members of parliament like Manketsi Tlhape, Hlomane Chauke and Saliva Molapisi, whilst from national it was the minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Maetu said they are in progress of taking municipal employees for counselling.