ANOTHER attempt to tear down a big church played out on Friday.
Gatvol residents demanded that four RDPs be built to replace the New Apostolic Amen In Zion Church, saying the church must be pulled down.
Angry residents of ward 42 in Khayelitsha, Uitenhage burnt rubbish and tyres outside ANC Councillor Phakamisa Mfama’s gate while he was away.
“This church is a stumbling block to service delivery. It must go!” they said.
They waited for the councillor to arrive and when he got out of his car, two protests broke out – one in his yard and another outside.
Mfama briefed his ward committee and then squeezed through the crowd to address the angry residents. ANC supporters and his committee members followed him.
Resident Vusumzi Ncula (36) said to the councillor: “Please Councillor, we want answers from you. Your ward committee members must shut up!”
He said some sites where 111 RDPs are expected to be built have been sold at R500 each while many people needed RDPs.
Another resident, Dumile Nogubha (33) said the councillor was very busy delivering services in Emangqugwaleni but ignored area 10.
He said: “When we go to your office for help, they call us the people of former councillor Andile Gqabi. Only ANC people are employed in your projects.”
Mfama said the beneficiaries of the 111 sites were recommended by social workers, and some came from Endlovini, Dikiza and 1st Avenue squatter camps.
“The field where 111 RDPs will be built is a bucket eradication programme. People on these sites lived in houses that had no toilets and no electricity.
“I serve all people, regardless of the political parties they support. And if If you have proof that sites were sold for R500, please report it to the cops. The church you want to remove can’t be removed if there’s no other alternative site.”
After the councillor addressed residents, they dispersed peacefully and most of them said they were satisfied with his answers.
Archbishop Mpumelelo Ntshikivana (57) said there have been many attempts to demolish his church since 2015.
“Andile Gqabi himself tried to tear down my church but we have nowhere else to go. This church will only move when there is a new site for us.”