Media release statement to the Municipal Demarcation Board of South Africa

Last updated on: March 04, 2015 by Nkateko Mirhumba Chake

Nhlanganelo wo Hluvukisa Xitsonga (NHLAHLUXI) is a registered NPO whose objective is to promote the development of all Vatsonga in the Southern African subcontinent (region), and indeed the whole world.

We have acknowledged with concern the recent developments in the Malamulele area and we feel that we cannot remain aloof when the rights of our people are trampled upon and the will of the affected people, not the wishes of their political masters that are paramount in determining the discourse and direction to be taken. Indeed, after making their grievances known, the people of Malamulele must surely be wondering about the following:

  1. Who in fact is governing their area if they, the people and their wishes are not taken into consideration when the decision affecting their daily lives are taken?
  2. Who represents them and their interests when in the decision making process after realizing that the voices of their elected representatives (e.g. Task Team) are either muted, ignored or absent in this whole demarcation upheaval.
  3. Whether they are taken seriously since successive delegations representing local, regional (district), provincial and national government structures have visited the area whenever tensions flare up and yet each contingent seems to be on a new fact-finding mission every time, meaning either the previous ones never reported or it was a window-dressing exercise.
The issue of tribalism with regard to Malamulele municipal demands

It should be noted that Malamulele residents are not tribalist as reported by those who are against their demand, but had been victims of tribalism emanating from local government administration and demarcation board proceedings which allowed the following factors stated below to develop unequal socia-economic and unjust social justice. It is of great importance to also note that the area of Malamulele incorporates both Tshivenda and Xitsonga speakers, and the twosome have been neighbouring and staying together for years and involving in inter-marriages. Another crucial point that distances the Malamulele Community from tribalism is that almost 80% if not 90% of posts, especially in government institutions like both primary and secondary schools are occupied by Tshivenda speakers whom neither reported any tribal attack nor incident from Malamulele Community members since they arrived.

  1. Socio-economic factors
  2. Between Malamulele and Thohoyandou, the Thulamela municipality dismally failed for 14 years to accurately provide essential services to Malamulele which rates the largest population than its counterpart, Thohoyandou, that continuously receives quality services from the very same local municipality. This local municipality has been infested with a culture of marginalization in which Malamulele has been subjected to notice this culture folding for years. This means that Thulamela Local Municipality has created social and economic inequality in the provision of municipal services and the sharing of resources. This social inequality alarmed the people of Malamulele to suspect that Thulamela provides services alongside tribal affiliation where the Vatsonga at Malamulele have been reduced to stand by and kept fully dependent on Thohoyandou which is predominantly occupied by their Vhavenda counterparts, where the massive developments and economic boom take place. When Malamulele people evinced this marginalization they are being ignored by local government administrations and deemed as tribalist whereas they are victims of tribalism.
  3. Social justice
  4. Malamulele’s demand for a municipality is based on the socio-economic needs of the people of the area. Being guided by the Municipal Demarcation Board’s response to Malamulele Demarcation Task Team’s demands, we therefore found that the demarcation board had used infrastructure as weapon to marginalize Malamulele in terms of municipal office location and deprived economic development as justifications to decline Malamulele’s demand for their constitutional rights of own standing municipality.

We urge the Demarcation Board and the government to turn an eyelid on reports and allegations being made by Malamulele Citizens against Thulamela Local Municipality, especially on the line of tribal bias by the municipal officials. If these allegations are not attended to, the scenario will get worse than those damages inflicted by the Apartheid regime. We also advice the Demarcation Board that their decision in favour of Malamulele’s demand will help in the state’s financial over-spending being used to pay and enrich those Public Order police officers’ overtime salaries since they come from as far as Ulundi and New Castle in KZN, Grobblersdal, Hazyview and all corners of the country, “may be the national army is the next”. The money that is being used to pay these police men and women can be used to change or make difference in the lives of Malamulele citizens.

We therefore plead with the Municipal Demarcation Board and the government to immediately resolve the disputes within Thulamela Local Municipality and to consider the granting of an independent local municipality to the people of Malamulele as it is their constitutional right.

NKATEKO MIRHUMBA CHAKE (General Secretary)
CELL: O72 860 8182
TEL: 011 494 4440
Email Nhlahluxi