Mr Francis van der Merwe removes an illegal abortion advert from a municipal road sign along Songozwi Street.

Municipality admits “illegal abortion adverts” issue is challenging

Date: 28 January 2019 By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

Viewed: 1041

A senior resident in Louis Trichardt, Mr Francis van der Merwe (84), has lashed out at law-enforcement agencies for not acting against the scourge of illegal posters desecrating everything from traffic signs to buildings in town.

Van der Merwe criticized the police and the municipality for not acting against the violators of the law, who continue to mar road signs, private property spaces and the municipality's property in town.

“I am not happy at all when I think that the police and the municipality don’t seem to act against the villains who are messing up the municipality's property,” he said. “I find it unbelievable that they are doing nothing to stop this blatant offence. This is our town; we live in it and we want to see it clean at all times. If this is to continue, where will we be in ten years’ time? Will we still have a town?”

For many years, Van der Merwe has been moving around town, removing all illegal abortion adverts. The police had warned him at one stage to refrain from removing the adverts, because it was not his duty to do so. The old man was very upset by the police’s statement, but it did not stop him from doing what he believes is his duty as a responsible citizen.

“Now we are not going to really comment on the issue which does not need us,” said the provincial police's spokesperson, Col Moatshe Ngoepe last week. “This is the municipality's issue and they will answer to that.”

Van der Merwe took the journalist on a viewing tour, showing how much damage had been inflicted on town property. At ABSA, along Songozwi Street, a road sign that shows an entrance onto the road has been totally destroyed by the plastering of many adverts over time.

“Is this what we want in this town – will it ever come to an end when no one is acting against it?” Van der Merwe said. “As a pensioner, I pay my entire monthly income to the municipality, so that this town can be clean all the time, but that's not working out for good.”

The spokesperson for the Makhado Municipality, Mr Louis Bobodi, said that it was quite challenging for the municipality to address the problem at once, but added that they were doing their best to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.

“The situation is not getting better with these nocturnal, hardened people who keep on doing these unbecoming, dirty, money-driven activities,” he said. “We are once more sending a strong warning to those involved to desist from those activities as they would face the full might of the law if they are found. We would like to commend Mr Van der Merwe, who, on a daily basis, keeps removing those filthy stuff marring our town.”





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Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.



More photos... 

Senior resident Mr Francis van der Merwe collects and destroys a bagful of illegal abortion adverts almost every day.