The new finance minister, David 'Des' van Rooyen resigned as mayor of Merafong (and Khutsong) in 2009 after residents refused to go along with a plan to move their area from Gauteng to North West, the Sowetan newspaper reported at the time.

The newspaper wrote: "Van Rooyen's property was burned down after the local government election in 2006, when irate residents turned on their councillor, forcing him to flee the area." Residents boycotted the 2006 election over the proposed move to North West.

"They barricaded streets, burned buildings and brought schooling to a halt. The protests led to government backtracking on the 2005 decision to include Merafong into North West."

By the time government changed its decision, Van Rooyen had been 'redeployed' to Parliament.

Van Rooyen told the newspaper: "My redeployment has nothing to do with Khutsong. The Khutsong experience has taught us the importance of communication between the government and the people.

"We have a challenge of making sure that our people are part of decision-making."

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