THE Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has threatened to attack the homes of leaders spearheading the shutdown in Vuwani, Limpopo.
Cosas believes the police were doing little to create an environment conducive to pupils to attend classes. Almost 30 000 pupils in 76 schools were being prevented to attend school.
“We are therefore left with no choice as a student movement to fight fire with fire. We are therefore prepared to shut down their shutdown. We are giving the protestors until tonight to decide if they want to close our schools or they want us to close their homes,” the organisation said in a statement today, Thursday.
But speaking at the inter-ministerial committee’s press briefing in Polokwane on his way to Vuwani, Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula said he has issued instructions to police generals to maintain law and order in the area.
“Those who don’t want peace are quite sophisticated but not over the State. They have shut down the area. But whoever is perpetrating these, whether small fish or a big fish, will be brought to book.
“The decision has been taken and we cannot reverse it. We’ve been talking and we’ll continue to talk, but there’s an end-game in every talk,” Mbalula said.
The inter-ministerial committee on Vuwani declared that the decision by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) to include the area in the new Lim345 municipality will not be reversed. The residents are demanding the immediate reversal of the decision.
Committee’s chairperson Makoma Makhurupetja said the provincial government has no authority to reverse the decision.
This was also emphasised by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen. He said the position of government was to support and respect the MDB.
Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha also said the issue of demarcation has been closed.
“The MDB has made its decision. There’s no reason why we should not oblige. We’ll ensure the (new) municipality is operational and it gets support. We’ll not allow anarchy to reign. There’s no pocket of this country that is not governable. We’ll govern anywhere in this country,” Mathabatha said.
Last year, almost 30 schools were torched or vandalised after residents embarked on violent protests against municipal demarcation.