Emfuleni Mayor Held Hostage by Residents Demanding Answers

Emfuleni Mayor Held Hostage by Residents Demanding Answers

  • The Emfuleni Mayor was held hostage by the community of Tshepong near Sebokeng on 11 April 2024
  • The residents were demanding feedback on the infrastructural challenges facing that community
  • Spokesperson Mphikeleli Msibi said the Mayor managed to engage the community, and an excavator was sent to unblock the township's entrance.

Zingisa Chirwa is an experienced Briefly News journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa, who has covered service delivery and current affairs on the radio for over 15 years.

Emfuleni Mayor was held hostage due to dilapidated infrastructure and roads in the Tshepong community.
Emfuleni Mayor was prevented from going to work by community members who demanded solutions to their service delivery concerns. Image: Stock Image
Source: Getty Images

Emfuleni Mayor Sipho Radebe was held hostage and forced to listen to the residents of Tshepong near Sebokeng.

Emfuleni mayor forced to account

According to The Citizen, the residents stopped the Mayor from going to work on 11 April 2024.

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A video shared on the publication's X profile showed community members singing protest songs.

The community was reportedly up in arms over the blocked stormwater drains and dilapidated roads across the township.

The Mayor's spokesperson, Mphikeleli Msibi, said their anger subsided after Radebe spoke to the community.

Msibi added that an excavator was sent into the township to unblock the entrance and allow free traffic flow.

South Africans side with the community

Many netizens empathised with the community and supported the Mayor being held accountable.

@SaazNx said:

“Yes, people are tired.”

@ChimCham7 added:

“This is not a hostage. It is called public accountability.”

@ObserveMr commented:

“This must become the norm in South Africa.”

@MatumainiCholo agreed:

“Good. One must know mayorship is not about personal perks, but accountability to the community.”

@gpreller concluded:

“His response and that of the council will be to spend more money on security for the mayor and his mmc's rather than improve service delivery.”

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In related Briefly News, an expert said the prosecution of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede indicates that the South African judicial system doesn't give politicians special treatment.

Mpumelelo Zikalala said the fraud and corruption case against Gumede shows the courts work and can hold influential people accountable.

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Source: Briefly News

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