Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Now They're Burning Libraries

Library burns down as march becomes ugly

The library in Balfour's Siyathemba township went up in flames on Tuesday afternoon during a protest that appears to have shifted from labour recruitment demands to an insistence the local mayor resign.

Gallery: Siyathemba Service Delivery Protest

"They are burning the library down," said police spokesperson Sergeant Sam Tshabalala, on the third day of violence in the Mpumalanga township.

Earlier, police fired rubber bullets when between 800 to 1 000 people became "irritated" during a meeting outside the Siyathemba community hall.

'People have lost confidence in him'
Zakhele Maya, who says he is a community leader, told Sapa he had been called to address a large crowd outside the hall, and was then told to go to the mayor's office and ask him to resign.


However, the mayor, Mabelane Tsotetsi, did not give an immediate answer.

Maya said when he returned to the hall he was told people became "irritated" and started burning tyres and police fired rubber bullets.

Tshabalala confirmed that rubber bullets were fired as people ran away and regrouped. Nobody was injured, he said.

MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs Norman Mokoena, along with community safety MEC Sibongile Manana and economic development MEC Jabu Mahlangu were expected to visit the area later on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the provincial government could not immediately be reached to provide further information.

In a statement it said the visit was aimed at assessing the situation.

Mokoena "condemned in the strongest possible terms the unwarranted violence and malicious destruction of property, by certain residents of Balfour".

The unrest has caused concern because the provincial government felt "great progress" was being made on issues raised by locals during protests in 2009.

"We have set up a task team that includes some leaders of the community, officials from the municipality and the provincial government. The task team has made significant progress on dealing with a number of the issues raised and therefore these acts of violence are unwarranted," he said.

Earlier in the day, people had made pyres of poles Eskom had planned to use in the area. On the previous two days foreigners' shops were looted and a municipal office burnt down.

Mpumalanga's education MEC Reginah Mhaule pleaded with local residents to allow schooling to continue unhindered. Pupils were preparing to rewrite some of their matric exams. The province got one of the lowest matric pass rates.

"On Thursday, 11 February 2010, the supplementary examinations for grade 12 learners will commence and my view is that every community should be obliged to ensure that school activities progress without any hassle," Mhaule said in a statement.

"I am making a humble call to the community of Balfour to allow teachers, learners and non-teaching staff to be in schools so that teaching and learning can progress unhindered."

Maya blamed "criminal elements" for the violence, saying they had actually helped the foreigners remove their merchandise to safety before criminals moved in.

He complained the criminals were detracting from the real issues and demands - which included that the local Burnstone Mine hire half its workforce from the local community.

Maya said residents had now changed strategy and decided they would, for the time being, focus on having the mayor removed.

"People have lost confidence in him," said Maya.

"These are issues that resonate from the previous [last year's] service delivery protests. The mayor seems to not assist our people in dealing with the issues."

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa said a service delivery summit was needed to resolve concerns that people in areas like Balfour were trying to raise.

However, they condemned the targeting of foreigners.

Twenty two people were expected to appear in the Balfour Magistrate's Court on Wednesday to face charges of public violence related to the protests. Police expect to make more arrests.

The protests come two days before the state of the nation address by President Jacob Zuma, who visited the area last year during similar protests. - Sapa

6 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Most kaffir savages do not know, or want to know how to read, so why have libraries in South Africa?

Viking said...

job creation!

Anonymous said...

Makes sense doesn't it? Burn the libraries cause you're upset with the government. How about burning municiple buildings - that would make more sense.

Anonymous said...

These pieces of crap don't have any right what so ever for protesting! They continued to vote for the ANC so they get what they voted for! As far as I'm concerned they should all be thrown into jail.

Anonymous said...

Burning down libraries is exactly what I expect the boons to do.

Why?

Because they hate what libraries represent, which is something they find unattainable due to genetic constraints. What this elusive thing is, is called an education.

Blacks struggle to get educated, because of the genetic limitations imposed on them, through having low IQ's. They see how easily whites amass educations and they see how they struggle. This causes immense hatred towards the system and everything associated with it. There is a reason why blacks preferred to burn down schools and libraries under apartheid. Their is a reason why they still do it today. The reason has got nothing to do with service delivery and more to do with inferiority complexes.

They hate books, because it reminds them of their inferiority in terms of intelligence.

Do you guys remember the story where the boon said that computers are racist because whites make them to complicated.

Libraries are the same.

Oh the poor, poor stupid boons.

A4

Dachshund said...

Blacks are wondrously self contradictory creatures. They have a saying that when an old person dies you lose a library, yet they go around killing old people and burning down libraries.