Ramaphosa ‘snubs’ Diepsloot residents

By Everson Luhanga

On Wednesday 10 April, a message circulated on Diepsloot Community WhatsApp groups that President Cyril Ramaphosa was to visit the township.

There was no official confirmation from the president’s office – but that did not stop residents from discussing their expectations for when they finally did meet him.

But on Saturday, the president did not arrive in Diepsloot. 

Unhappy residents responded harshly and some suggested they would block the president from addressing them in the future.

Lefa Nkala and Loyiso Toyiya, who have organised several anti-crime marches over the year in Diepsloot, told residents that President Ramaphosa was not welcome in the crime-ridden Gauteng township.

Lefa and Loyiso were among four leaders arrested for organising anti-crime marches in the township.

Lefa said: “It was sad that the president and his campaign team found it necessary to visit Diepsloot just because it is time for a campaign.”

“With the money we collected from poor community members, we went to the Union Buildings to ask the president to address the people of Diepsloot and to use his power to put forward plans on how he would help fight crime in the township. After all that, the president didn’t come,” he said.

Loyiso said, “Our cries to the president to intervene when we most needed him were ignored.” 

“We are telling the people of Diepsloot that he doesn’t care about us. He is coming to look for votes and not to solve their problems.”

“No matter how poor we are, we have the power. We have the power to put the president in power or to remove him,” he said.

The ANC in the township called the two leaders arrogant and ANC ward 113 branch secretary Matome Monyemangene said that their response was “unfortunate”.

“We have since uncovered a plot to disrupt and eventually prevent the president from coming to Diepsloot.

“For nefarious reasons, the plot is led by the new EFF recruit Lefa Nkala, who also doubles as the chairperson of a so-called community structure called Diepsloot Community Forum (DCF) and one Shika, who lives in Riverside View, the self-proclaimed chairperson of the group.”

“It should be noted that there’s no place here in Diepsloot called Nkala or Shika where they can just issue instructions to their subjects,” he said.

But on the eve of the president’s scheduled visit, another message came informing residents that the president was no longer coming.

This message was met with ululations from some of the residents who had planned to cause disruptions during his visit. Others said they would have stripped naked to show him how angry they are.

Diepsloot has been in the news because of its high crime rate, including vigilantism, and recently five people were killed by a group of people in an act of mob justice.

Several government ministers, including Police Minister Bheki Cele and Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, have visited the troubled township.

Pictured above: Some names of people who have been murdered in Diepsloot. 

Image source: Everson Luhanga 

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