Mashaba was addressing protesters in the Alexandra township and said the protestors didn’t want ordinary folk to address them, before accusing them of being drunk.
City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba left the township of Alexandra frustrated after he could not address the #AlexTotalShutdown protestors on Monday evening, 15 April 2019. Mashaba received harsh criticism from residents and political leaders alike for not meeting with the residents of Alexandra immediately after the protests ensued on 3 April 2019. He then arranged to address the residents on Monday, 15 April 2019, as part of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which is to explain the finance available for the region within the metro.
Upon Mashaba’s arrival at the Marlboro Community Centre, disgruntled residents began singing struggle songs and refused to be addressed by him. He said that a minority in the venue were relentless and refused to allow the proceedings to get underway.
“Even after the memorandum of grievances were handed over, the disruption continued. It was clear that they didn’t want ordinary people to speak, and they did not want government to listen,” he said.
The mayor now claims he had proof that the protestors were drunk.
However, #AlexTotalShutdown leader Sandile Mavundla was quick to dismiss the claims.
“The mayor must not make up false accusations. None of us were drunk. If he says he has proof, he must test us … I have never even tasted alcohol,” he said.
He also denied the protestors ever kicking Mashaba out of the meeting.
“They decided to go, and we tried to calm the people and the people were not willing to hear anything from the mayor.
“Why are we supposed to kick him out? The speaker came and said the meeting will never continue,” he said.
Mashaba also said the leaders of the #AlexTotalShutdown movement were the directors of a company called the Ditlodi Community Development Cooperative. According to Mashaba, the directors left the company Altitude, which was contracted to provide community liaison services for the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP), and started the Ditlodi Community Development Cooperative.
“They were then awarded a contract to continue this work from April 2015, earning around R161,000 per month,” he said.
Mashaba said that in February 2019, the Ditlodi Community Development Cooperative was given notice by the Johannesburg Development Agency that the contract would not be extended beyond June 2019 as the funding had ceased from the provincial government.
Mavundla confirmed that he was a director at the Ditlodi Community Development Cooperative but said Mashaba’s statements were a “fabrication”.
“The contract is still on, so his statements are baseless. I am residing in Alex and when there are issues that concern Alex people, I am a leader of my own right in Alex and not Ditlodi.
“There is only one individual on Ditlodi that is administrated on the shutdown and it is not the total of Ditlodi [sic],” he said.