23 September 2018


Government intervenes to stabilise Bokone Bophirima

by: SAnews.gov.za   date: 04 May 2018

Government has approved two immediate interventions to restore order and stability for communities of Bokone Bophirima province.

One of the interventions includes a task team of Ministers, which will be dispatched to the province to establish the facts on the ground.

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team comprises the Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (Convenor), Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Police Bheki Cele, Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Advocate Michael Masutha.

“They are expected to submit a report in the next two weeks. The report back will assist in determining any further interventions that may still be required,” Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said in her briefing to the media last week after a Cabinet meeting in Cape Town. 

Another intervention that government has introduced is the invoking of Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution to address the apparent crisis, particularly in the health sector.

The main objective of this intervention, Minister Mokonyane said, is to restore trust and confidence between labour and government, assist the province to upgrade its systems and capabilities, ensure compliance with the legislative and regulatory framework of government, stabilize the labour environment, restore sustainable service delivery, ensure security of staff and improve financial management.

These interventions by the national government follow continued tensions and violent protests in the province amid calls from some quarters for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down.  Criminal elements have infiltrated the protests, with vehicles being set alight, shops and buildings looted, private and government buildings broken into and vandalized. 

The President has directed the Inter-Ministerial Task Team to:
•     Conduct an urgent assessment of the state of governance in the province,
•     Advise Cabinet on potential risks facing the province,
•     Provide Cabinet with a comprehensive report on the state of governance in the province at the Cabinet meeting of 9 May 2018. The report should advise on steps to be taken in respect of the Task Team’s findings and
•     Remain seized with the North West matter until all critical issues are resolved.

National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla Sitole, said over 100 people were arrested in different parts of the province on charges of malicious damage to property, public violence, possession of suspected stolen goods and business robbery.

General Sitole said the SAPS would ensure that the arrested suspects are taken through the court processes and face the full might of the law in an effort to bring this lawless behaviour to a complete halt. 

"Police will continue to enforce the law and bring to book those who continue to terrorize communities in these affected areas," said General Sitole.  

If convicted, the accused could face lengthy jail terms. 

In a statement on Thursday, the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster condemned the violence and criminality accompanying protests in different parts of the province.