R67 PROTEST UPDATE: Road clear again

THE R67 between Port Alfred and Bathurst is clear for traffic, but the protest by New Rest residents for land and housing continues.

Earlier this morning SAPS cluster commander Brigadier Morgan Govender communicated with council speaker Vivian Maphaphu by cell, trying to get mayor Phindile Faxi to address protestors as municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni is out of town.

No councillors from Nemato attended the protest when the road was blockaded. Apparently all councillors were in a ward committee induction meeting from 8am.

After several discussions between Govender and protest leaders, including EFF activist Xolisa Runeli, the protest leaders agreed to move the protest to the municipal offices because the municipality would not come to them. Marchers started moving slowly down the R67 toward town. Blockades were dismantled and the fire department doused fires.

But then the marchers stalled and decided not to go to town, just standing in the road, singing and dancing.

As of the time of writing they are gathered outside Titi Jonas Multipurpose Centre. Some councillors have arrived and protestors are listening to their leaders talking over a loudspeaker about their frustration of waiting for 17 years for land or housing.

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