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City condemns threats to destroy Don Matemann Hall​

On Monday, 9th October 2017, a former leader of the Camissa Movement for Equality (CME) in Eldorado Park, Region G, visited the Community Development Offices demanding permission to use the Don Matemann Hall for his meetings every second week, at no charge to his organisation.
Should this demand not be met, he​ has threatened to burn down the Don Matemann Hall. We condemn this proposed course of action in the strongest terms.
The City will not tolerate any threats of violence or acts to destabilise the City. We are currently considering all legal options available to the City, including laying criminal charges against this former community leader.

According to reports, the now would be arsonist was a member of the Housing Committee in Ward 18 and has also since left CME in order to start his own organisation.
Despite advice and guidance offered by the personnel within the City regarding the process to be followed in order to secure use of the hall, the former community leader refused to follow due process.

Indeed, this is because, under the previous administration, the would be arsonist was permitted to use the hall at no cost for over three (3) years.
The City advised that the request cannot be granted because:

i. Free extended use of the hall is against the usage policy for community halls; and
ii. His organisation is a duplication of the Housing Committee within the ward, and therefore, seeks to undermine the work of the Housing Committee.
Whilst the City understands frustration which may be experienced by certain groups when attempting to gain exclusive use of community facilities, the rule of law must always be observed and threats made against public property cannot be tolerated.

We urge the community of Eldorado Park to work with the City to protect their facility which is meant for the enjoyment and access of all community members.

As a City, we must all also guard against those who care more about their destructive selfish interests and would promote mayhem and disorder in communities. Community facilities are for the mutual and joint benefit of the residents. They are to be used as facilities which bring communities together by ensuring that each member enjoys the optimum benefit from such facilities.

The fees charged for the usage of the facilities are to ensure that there is enough funding for the staff that is hired to care for this infrastructure and to contribute towards the repairs and maintenance of the facilities.

Seeking permission to block the hall for long periods of time whilst not contributing financially deprives the residents of the community access to the hall, and access to any financial benefits that may be gained through other users booking the hall.

The City needs all possible sources of revenue to assist in delivering social cohesion programmes at these facilities.

One group of residents cannot be given preference over other groups, as this counters social cohesion, and may lead to undesirable unrest. I trust that I can count on each and every member of the Community to stand up against this undesirable behaviour.

I promise that the City will use the full might of the law to protect your facilities from people driven by selfishness, and lack of care and consideration for the greater good of the community.

We urge all residents to report any unlawful activities to JMPD on 011-3755911.

For details pertaining to Community Development, please contact:

Kutlwano Olifant
Stakeholder Manager: Office of the MMC for Community Development
078 014 8434

For details pertaining to Public Safety, please contact:
Luyanda Longwe
Stakeholder Manager: Office of MMC for Public Safety
061 4960 536