A meeting of over 200 Zwelitsha residents who pitched to hear Ward 41’s service delivery report at Oliver Reginald Thambo Community Hall last Sunday erupted into a war of words among some residents.
Former Zwelitsha resident Joe Nkopo said the community had initially requested the report in order to account for issues affecting service delivery in the area.
The meeting started out smoothly with ward councillor Sindiswa Skepe welcoming attendees and starting to discuss the report with the residents.
However, things soon became heated when residents of Phakamisa, Breidbach, Tshatshu and Sweetwater caused an uproar, saying it was their right to attend the meeting.
Skepe was forced to intervene to try and keep the peace and eventually resorted to calling in law enforcement to help with the situation.
After a brief but tense stand-off, the complainants left peacefully but not before swearing and insulting Zwelitsha residents.
I know you choose your friends for tenders and after that, you receive envelopes with money and drinks
Once the meeting was allowed to continue, Skepe faced heavy criticism from residents over poor service delivery and lack of funds.
“In 2016 and ’17, you didn’t give a report and you are supposed to give one quarterly. You are the one who is not calling for the report,” Zwelitsha senior citizen Velelo Baleni said.
Other residents accused Skepe of spending council money on friends and giving jobs to friends and relatives.
“I know you choose your friends for tenders and after that, you receive envelopes with money and drinks,” said resident Buntu Dikana.
Skepe said she had always called a quarterly meeting and brushed off accusations against her as false.
“I always call a meeting quarterly. People must attend the meetings to get full information about the development of Zwelitsha,” she said.