The Northern Cape MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, is disturbed by recent activities involving the burning of a library in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district in Kuruman.
According to the communications unit of the department, it has come to the MEC’s attention that a group of residents who were allegedly protesting against eviction from a municipal site went on to a rampage and decided to burn and destroy government properties, including a community library at Wrenchville.
The library is one of the oldest facilities which government has invested millions of rand’s worth in Wrenchville. What makes the burning down of the library more ironic is that it took place during the national book week - a week in which government embarks on a vigorous campaign to promote and encourage our community members to read and empower themselves.
The library which was burnt served as repository of books for our community members. The matriculants of Kuruman who has started with their preliminary examinations as a build up to the National Certificate Examinations are now also deprived of a research institution, as well as access to the internet.
Government views such acts as undermining their efforts to eradicate poverty and underdevelopment. Such acts undermine the hard earned democracy and its founding principles such as the Freedom Charter.
The burning and destruction of the library also comes after the MEC Mbinqo-Gigaba made numerous requests and pleas with the communities at the opening of the 8 new libraries in July not vandalise government buildings. During the opening of the libraries she said “Let us ensure that we retain the structure in its pristine condition so that we can enjoy the collective benefits of the library. The library belongs to all of us – the government and the community. It is therefore our joint and collective responsibility to ensure it remains protected and far divorced from vandalism and theft. We must report all illegal activities to the municipality and the police.”
The Department wishes to condemn perpetrators in the strongest possible terms and urges law enforcement agencies to take harsh actions against anyone found guilty of these acts of sabotage. It is also a request for the community members of Wrenchville who have information on the acts of sabotage and arson to report it to the police station. Northern Cape Sport, Arts and Culture Department
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