Security fears lead to the postponement of a meeting by local government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane with Booysens Park residents at the Chatty community hall in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
The meeting was meant to address an impasse among the Ward 41 community where protesters allegedly burnt down the houses of two families.
The MEC wanted to meet families targeted by protesters who, according to unconfirmed reports, say they are unhappy about houses which they allege are flawed.
Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, Qoboshiyane’s spokesperson, said: “Qoboshiyane was whisked away by his security detail following a potential security risk identified ahead of his meeting with the residents.”
Qoboshiyane said he would reconvene the meeting to address the issues and to eradicate any animosity among residents.
“We cannot, when we are busy with our programme of building better communities, have the very same people government is helping, fight against one another to the extent of torching homes.
“This violent conduct is not related to service delivery at all, because this community has impressive service delivery programmes like houses, roads, energy and water,” said Qoboshiyane.
Port Elizabeth police spokesperson Capt Johann Rheeder said ten people had been arrested for public violence in relation with the matter and were to appear in court yesterday.
Rheeder said police were continuing to monitor the area.