Mr Douglas Nekhavhambe was accused of opening a water tap for residents who failed to contribute monies.
The life of a resident of Tshino ha Nesengani’s Mukondeleli section, Mr Douglas Nekhavhambe, was put in danger when some residents arrived carrying weapons to uproot a communal water tap that he had installed outside his home.
Although the event happened on 14 September, Nekhavhambe believes his life is still in danger as the local headman's office and the ward councillor apparently failed to call a community meeting to calm the situation.
“They knew about the furious residents who, being led by a local police officer in his private capacity, arrived and threatened to assault me,” he said. “They uprooted the tap and took it with them.”
The incident followed after residents contributed some R100 per household for a TLB to prepare trenches for the pipeline, which was eventually connected from the Vuwani main water pipeline.
The pipes came from the Vhembe District Municipality’s local satellite office, and residents made a connection from the main pipeline and continued to spread it through the whole section to households who had contributed R100.
All communal tap users were urged to make use of a padlock and lock their taps to prevent anyone who had not contributed from using the taps.
“There were some households who failed to contribute the R100, due to a lack of money,” Nekhavhambe said. “But then I felt for them, because some are unemployed. So in our street line, we agreed that we would not lock the tap, so every household could have free access to the tap.”
The councillor for Makhado Municipality’s Ward 4, Mr Tshisamphiri Balibali, said that they were seriously following the case and that they would liaise with the headman’s office to set up a community meeting.
“We are in the process of meeting with the ward committee and the headman’s council,” he said. “We will surely resolve this matter urgently. We are a united ward and we want to continue to ensure our unity, peace and harmony.”
The headman’s office was not available for comment at the time of our going to press.
The spokesperson for Vhembe District Municipality, Mr Matodzi Ralushai, said that the process where residents contributed monies into one pocket and installed water pipes or taps was not formal. “Any municipal official who aids residents in these types of illegal connection is also acting unlawfully,” he said. “Residents should be encouraged or advised to contact us if they needed water in their area. Look, now they are fighting among themselves after unofficial water connections,” he said.
Date:12 November 2017 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.