Makana mayor flees hecklers under police guard

The executive mayor of the embattled Makana municipality fled Alicedale with angry residents baring their teeth at him last week.

Mayor Zamuxolo Peter had to be escorted out of the small town by armed police on Wednesday afternoon.

He was heckled by a group of more than 200 residents while trying to address a local representative committee inside the Bushman Sands Conference Centre.

A witness, resident Eli Konstant, said Peter and members of his council were in town to talk to the committee about non-delivery of services and the financial management issues of the municipality, which is now under administration.

“Word got around that Peter was in town moments later residents gathered outside the conference centre.

“They were furious, saying this meeting should have been held in Grahamstown, because under no circumstances was he welcome in Alicedale,” Konstant said.

Service delivery in the area was reported to be at an all-time low with residents battling sanitation, infrastructure and housing problems.

“Peter has been a politician in this area for the past 16 years and has done nothing but make empty promises, so on Wednesday residents were saying ‘enough is enough’,” Konstant said.

She said things got intense at midday when the crowd started chanting, whistling and dancing, demanding that Peter be removed from the conference centre and taken back to Grahamstown.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Luvuyo Mjekula confirmed the incident saying police decided to act when residents threatened to block the delegates from leaving town.

“The mayor and other delegates were escorted out of town after residents dispersed. No arrests were made,” said Mjekula.

Calls to Peter’s cellphone were diverted to voicemail. — zwangam@dispatch.co.za

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