DA concerned about lack of action from MEC in Cookhouse violence

Dacre Haddon MPL

Shadow MEC for Local Government

The MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mlibo Qoboshiyane is doing nothing to intervene in violence-wracked Cookhouse.

For several days there has been anarchy in Cookhouse as houses are burned, property destroyed and roads barricaded.

This is a political issue caused by supporters of his party the ANC who are angry over the lack of service delivery in the area.

By his inaction, the MEC Qoboshiyane is putting the everyday lives of the Cookhouse community at risk.

Having being fully briefed of the latest situation by the SAPS in Cookhouse I am satisfied that given the situation, the SAPS are doing everything possible to normalise the situation.

I have written to the Station Commander of Cookhouse and requested that where possible even more SAPS are patrolling and visible policing be done in the area.

Currently there are 24-hour patrols and POPS (Public Order Policing) from Cradock and Port Elizabeth are assisting with the situation in Cookhouse.

Furthermore, I am informed that arrests are imminent.

While the Democratic Alliance respects the right to peaceful protest as enshrined in our Constitution, the anger from the community in trashing and burning property is unacceptable.

The DA councillors in Cookhouse-area and I are committed to ensure that the area returns to normality as soon as possible.

This is being achieved by ongoing monitoring and liaison with the Cookhouse SAPS on a daily basis.

It is time the MEC showed decisive leadership and resolves this issue before this anarchy spills over into other surrounding areas.

On behalf of the DA in the province I will be holding the MEC to account and to give a full explanation as to the reasons of the strife and to hold him to timelines as to how, when and what his immediate action is to resolve this impasse in Cookhouse.