Media: Mayor Plato smacked

18 11 2009

By Quinton Mtyala – IOL on November 18 2009

On a surprise visit to the Blikkiesdorp transition camp in Delft, Mayor Dan Plato was smacked, cursed, sworn at and branded a liar by long-suffering, angry residents.

This after Plato angered them by dismissing their complaints of inhuman conditions by claiming it was “amongst the best” settlements.

He denounced some residents for “unfaithfulness and ungratefulness”.

Attempting to enter a row of corrugated steel huts, Plato was stopped by a group of women who barricaded the entrance.

In an angry confrontation Plato was smacked by an incensed woman as his bodyguards intervened to get her off him.

The tussel lasted for a short while. Plato looked shocked and hurt but did not retaliate.

# quinton.mtyala@inl.co.za

Earlier version:

On a surprise visit to Blikkiesdorp in Delft, Mayor Dan Plato had to walk through a gauntlet of angry residents swearing, cursing and in one instance even physically attacking him.

This comes a week after Premier Helen Zille was met with the same anger by the community over the living conditions at the temporary relocation area for backyard squatters who had illegally occupied N2 Gateway houses in Delft.

Currently Blikkiesdorp is home to more than 1452 families and can accommodate a total of 1667 families.

With a heavy police presence, along with his VIP bodyguards, Plato first met with his officials and afterwards went on a walkabout in the camp with surprised residents looking on.

Some greeted him, while others seemed oblivious – they had seen it all before.

With his bodyguards, housing officials and media on tow, Plato set forth as he had done many times before on his impromptu visits, he got talking to some residents, inspected toilets and spoke to those who seemed without malice.

He listened and gave short answers to some of the complaints but barely two metres behind him, prevented from coming closer by his bodyguards, was the loud voice of Patricia Ludidi, cursing and pointing fingers at him – questioning his real motives for visiting Blikkiesdorp.

Attempting to enter another row of corrugated steel huts, Plato was stopped by a group of women who barricaded the entrance.

An angry confrontation ensued which led to Plato being punched by an angry woman as his bodyguards intervened to get her off him.

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