A plan by the North West Local Government to quell the on-going tensions in Ledig, near Sun City, has failed. The community have been on a rampage since the weekend , alleging that millions of rands in a form of royalties belonging to the community has been misused. These royalties are paid into the coffers of the community by a mining company operating there. Several properties have been destroyed, with foreign owned shops looted during the community protests.
A resolution to the tensions has been sought since Monday but to no avail. Local government MEC Collen Maine attempted to address the outraged community members but the planned resolution fell flat. The government is being accused by the community of negotiating in bad faith. Community leader Steve Moutloatse speaks of the conflict saying, “This thing is huge and we have been battling for the past ten years. We have been knocking at the wakes door, Thuli Madonsela’s door, now we are saying to the MEC, you must be prepared for the fire.”
While a meeting has been scheduled to take place at the Traditional Council Offices on Wednesday, the community wants over 30 people arrested following clashes released before the meeting can continue. The North West police Major General Jacob Tsumane says they are still monitoring the situation to enforce law and order in the area.
According to Tsumane, the investigations reveal that not only shops belonging to foreign nationals have been looted and some have been using the disorder as an opportunity to steal.
The tensions appear to be affecting life all around as even local schools have not remained unaffected since lessons are being disrupted. A learner expressed concern saying, “I am feeling so bad because as learners we want to pass and go on with life. Some of us are doing matric and it is hard for us, as matriculants because when the exams come they won’t even ask us about the protests.”
The outraged community vowed to continue with violence if government does not meet their demands, by releasing over 30 people who have been arrested and by also bringing the former tribal councillor Johannes Phologane into Wednesday’s meeting. Phologane is alleged to have knowledge of the whereabouts of the missing community funds. The community threatens to disrupt the South African Music Awards during the weekend in Sun City, if they don’t get positive answers.