Picture By Goldrick Mafologela
IDP session ends in chaos at Butswana community hall. The fourth leg of the IDP program ends in chaos as violence escalated in the middle of the session. The municipality had a multi-pronged IDP program which started at Moshate and went well without any hitches. It was at Hlohlokwe that the simmering tensions started showing up on the surface resulting in it being disrupted. The third leg was hosted at Scortia wherein the governing party backed up its muscles by transporting a group of young people in ANCYL t-shirts thus outnumbering the members and supporters of the Civic Warriors of Maruleng and the session went well without any disturbances.
Today, 25th April 2018, the two warring parties descended on the venue with full intentions and arrangements for the day. In the build-up to the official starting time of the program political posturing flared up as both parties demonstrated beyond doubt their willingness not to be outshone. For a while calmness defied against all odds the behavior of members of the two parties who now and then disrupted formal proceedings through reckless conduct.
IDP session ends in chaos at Butswana community hall
Later during the processing of the program reports came in indicating that members of the Civic Warriors of Maruleng have instructed employees of the municipality to leave the premises and thus shutting down operations. Towards the end of the program and upon the return of the Civic Warriors of Maruleng and entering the hall chaos erupted when members and supporters of the two parties clashed and started throwing stones all over the place. Within a wink of an eye the whole hall and its surroundings came under tremendous siege.
In the heat of the moment the Mayor was escorted by the police to the safety of her home. Other councilors followed through various points of exit. The police worked hard to bring the situation under control as people, young and old fled into different directions for their own safety. The scene reflected a situation of civil unrest under the apartheid regime except that this time the police played a role of bringing the situation under control and saving lives.
The above scenario deflected all attention from the essence of the IDP imperatives and redirected everything to a display of acute shortage of quality leadership. That the governing ANC resorted to the use of a party machinery in a government program boggles the mind. In a normal situation the governing party could have at best used its official position in government to provide the much needed leadership. A platform for anarchy and chaos has been unleashed unfortunately by the leaders which will in time be capable of reducing the municipality to ungovernable status. Warnings often come economically and the fact that the danger of conflating the party with the state was made several times and nobody seemed to be interested in heeding the advice paints a nastier and bleakest picture indeed. The leadership has failed dismally on this front.
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