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gavel thumb100 Sowetan reports that the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane on Tuesday interdicted illegal strikers in Giyani from polluting and closing water pumps.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba said the illegal strikers were restrained from closing water reticulation sources to Giyani communities.

Makgoba also ordered the police to patrol the Giyani area and protect the assets of the local municipality.

“The police should take all necessary steps to arrest and take into lawful custody any person who contravenes the order,” he said.

This was after angry community members from Khakhala, Gawula, Mahlathi and Hlomela villages blockaded roads with sand and disrupted services in Giyani for the past three weeks. They were demanding roads and water services.

The municipality said the matter was brought on an urgent basis because of the implications it had on service delivery.

In his affidavit, municipal manager Maxwell Chauke said: “The water services have been disrupted by the strikers in circumstances we cannot explain.

“It is likely that the water pumps in the reticulation facility have been blocked and the water is now not fit for human consumption.”

He said there were reported incidents of intimidation of staff and the illegal closure of the main water supply to Giyani communities.

“The strikers forced their way through the gates of the Giyani dam and water treatment plant and dumped sand in the reticulation system.

“What was conspicuously absent was the presence of the police, despite the unrest that reigned around Giyani municipality,” he said.

Chauke said he was told by the municipality’s security officials that there was an illegal strike as well as vandalism in Giyani.

“Upon investigation I established there had been three strikes reported at villages which fall under our jurisdiction.

“I was also informed the strikers went to the Giyani CBD and their demonstration culminated in vandalism.

“On June 25 I was informed that the strikers attempted to enter the municipal offices by force, and blocked the public and municipal staff from gaining access.”

Chauke said he did not receive a memorandum of demands as there had been no written communication from the ward councillor or community representative.

The original of this report by Peter Ramothwala appeared on page 7 of Sowetan of 4 July 2018

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