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Unrest after Vuwani demarcation ruling

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Unrest yet again erupted in Vuwani yesterday after a meeting of traditional leaders who did not accept Friday’s ruling of the Limpopo High Court.
Ephraim Makgoba, Judge President of the Limpopo High Court ordered that the application by the Masia Traditional Council and eight others for revision of a determination by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) to excise the Mashau and Masakona settlements from the Makhado Municipality and to incorporate the areas into a new municipality be dismissed. The court further ordered that each party should pay its own legal costs.
According to Provincial Police Spokesperson Malesela Ledwaba a case of public violence and malicious damage to property was registered after a Police trailer carrying barbwire as well as a truck and grader were set alight yesterday evening. “No arrests were made yet, but the Public Order Policing Unit and visible policing members are still patrolling and monitoring the area. All roads to and from Vuwani are clear but motorists are still advised to be alert when travelling,” Ledwaba said.

Jane Thupana, Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) attends the proceedings of the Limpopo High Court.

Jane Thupana, Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) attends the proceedings of the Limpopo High Court.

Ephraim Makgoba, Judge President of the Limpopo High Court, presides in the Vuwani demarcation matter.

Ephraim Makgoba, Judge President of the Limpopo High Court, presides in the Vuwani demarcation matter.

After the court adjourned on Friday, MDB Chairperson Jane Thupana said she is happy and relieved about the outcome. “Now the public can see that we are doing our work as required by the law. It would have been a major challenge to put everything in place in time for the upcoming elections if the ruling had been otherwise,” Thupana said.
Mmbangiseni Masia, spokesperson for the nine applicants, addressed the media after the court ruling and indicated that they are obviously not happy with the outcome as they have contemplated the opposite. “Despite the outcome, we remain united as a community. What brought us together to fight this battle has always been the desire to see fairness and nothing less. This unity on issues that are common shall be sustained as long as we lead the people,” Masia said. He added that a meeting scheduled for Sunday will inform the way forward. This morning Masia confirmed that the battle is not over. “We are not happy with the outcome but have not taken a decision whether we will lodge an appeal. The unrest is a consequence of the outcome.”
Unrelated to the Vuwani matter, Polokwane Observer last week reported on Venetia Mine workers blockading the R521 leading from Alldays to Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site following reported claims that the De Beers Group is not adhering to the Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the mining sector and the 40% local procurement policy as well as failing to ensure that multinational suppliers of capital goods annually contribute towards socio-economic development of local communities. No follow-up comment could be obtained from the De Beers Group as yet.
Ledwaba said no further incidents of unrest were reported in the area.

Featured Photo: Mmbangiseni Masia, spokesperson for the applicants in the Vuwani demarcation application, outside the court.

RC Myburgh, Barry Viljoen, Nelie Erasmus