‘Red berets’ invade Vanderbijlpark to stop the rot

The EFF is a verb, a doing word, said EFF members as they picketed outside the ELM main building in Vanderbijlpark before handing a memorandum to the acting Mayor Robert Thema on Friday. Photo: Lazarus Dithagiso

Lazurus Dithagiso

VANDERBIJLPARK. – High temperatures did not deter a march organised by the ‘red berets’, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Friday.

The ‘red berets’, as they are affectionately known, were out in force.

The proclaimed vanguard and leader of society marched about three kilometres from outside Boipatong testing grounds to the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) to present a memo of corruption-grievances.

The EFF Provincial Chairperson, Mandisa Mashego told the people about all the corrupt practices that have turned ELM into a ‘rotten apple’.

Boasting about work conducted by her party, she said the EFF is a verb, a doing word ‘that does not talk air’.

“This is the party that in Gauteng Province is growing at high speed.

“Corruption infects each and every department of the municipality. We want answers within seven days. Away with labour brokers and tenders,” she said

On the Boiketlong informal settlement, she said, “Until those community members receive decent houses, they are in poverty. The leading government is pushing their own interests.”

Some placards bore the messages ‘ELM, city of corruption’ and ‘the R872 million is gone in a puff of smoke.’

Their demands included ‘the in-sourcing of security,’ that ‘onboard consultants engaged in fraudulent claims of labour brokers be blacklisted, that the manager of Emfuleni facilities earning R1 million annually be removed from that post as he has only a matric qualification,’ that ‘potholes, spewing sewage backflowing into houses and nearby schools in the area be addressed’, that the ‘municipality be dissolved for failing in its constitutional mandate to provide services to the community’, that ‘the municipality provide land to the community to build their own houses’ and that the Council Speaker getting a travelling allowance must return the car she rented with the municipality’s money. Acting ELM Mayor, Robert Thema on behalf of the Executive Mayor Jacob Khawe, accepted the memo.

He assured the EFF that their demands will be handed to the relevant department for consideration.


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