Residents lay charges against mayor
Johannesburg - A group of residents has laid criminal charges against City of Joburg mayor Amos Masondo amid the billing crisis that has left many without electricity, The Star newspaper reported on Friday.
The Blairgowrie Community Association has also laid charges against the City's member of the mayoral committee on finance, Parks Tau, the daily newspaper further reported.
Masondo and Tau face charges of contravening the Municipal Systems Act, relating to the over-billing of many Johannesburg residents for rates and utilities followed by disconnections if the bills are not paid.
The association's spokesperson Linus Muller, who laid the charges, said that a number of residents from the northern Johannesburg suburb complained about unfair disconnections.
He said most of those cut off had already lodged complaints with the municipality.
According to Muller, it was unlawful to disconnect a consumer if he or she had lodged a dispute with the municipality.
Lieutenant Colonel Tshisakhawe Ndou confirmed to the newspaper that a case had been opened.
The Star said the city's communications director, Gabu Tugwana, said he needed to check with the legal department before commenting.
Other victims of the Johannesburg "billing crisis" will protest outside the City's customer service offices on Friday, the Joburg Advocacy Group (Jag) said.
Jag is appealing to victims of the billing crisis to take "peaceful direct action" to ensure the billing problems are resolved.
The group have appealed to residents to join in the protest at Thuso House, on the corner of Simmonds and Siemens Streets in Braamfontein, where the City's customer services offices are located.
The protest will begin at 08:30 on Friday.