Last year
Residents from Hambanathi in Tongaat attended the Human Rights Day seminar and dialogue. Photo by Mbali Dlungwana. Photo by Mbali Dlungwana  ~ 

AT FIRST, residents were happy to hear that the government officials were going to spend the day with them, listening to their problems.

But the Hambanathi residents’ anger boiled over because the officials talked about human rights throughout the event.

They told the officials all they needed to know was when they would get RDPs and jobs.

It happened at the Human Rights Day dialogue, held at Hambanathi Stadium in Tongaat on Friday.

Resident Bonginkosi Mdlalose (56), from Magwaveni in Tongaat, said they were not interested in listening to speeches about social cohesion.

Bonginkosi said: “You must go back to your offices and start thinking about our needs before coming to us.

“None of you would spend a day where we live, but you are here telling us about rights.”

Hambanathi CPF chairwoman Bongi Hadebe said the functioning of cops in Tongaat should have been on the agenda.

She said police never respond on time when they were called to crime scenes.

“We are struggling to work with cops because they let criminals walk free all the time,” said Bongi.

“Since we have the commander present, perhaps he should tell us where we must report crime because it’s clear they are not fit to do their work.”

Gogo Zonke Fakude (68) said her son was kidnapped in 2005, but the police are still investigating.

“It’s been 12 years now and I am still waiting for answers,” said Zonke.

Tongaat Police Station commander Colonel Viscount Msomi said: “I will follow up on all the complaints raised.”

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