Four minors among 20 Wesselton residents arrested after violent protest

2012-12-06 14:45

Mpumalanga police have arrested 20 Wesselton township residents near Ermelo in connection with violent protests that erupted yesterday.

Four of the arrested people are minors with ages between 14 and 16, said provincial police spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi.

“They have all been charged with public violence, malicious damage to property and theft of two firearms from security guards,” Hlathi said. He could not however, indicate when they would appear in court.

The residents went on a rampage yesterday morning when they complained about jobs, water and abuse by the police’s tactical response unit, known in township lingo as “amaberet”.

They lost their cool after learning that Msukaligwa Mayor Sipho Bongwe had allegedly instructed mines and other corporate companies operating in the area to stop dealing with a community structure about job opportunities and skills development.

Bongwe allegedly said the companies must only engage with the municipality’s local economic development unit.

The Msukaligwa Concerned Committee (MCC), formed after week-long protests last year February, had been liaising with the companies about the recruitment of local people.

The residents’ other complaints were that water supply had been erratic and that the police unit was heavy-handed – pouring liquor on residents found in drinking places and forcing them to do push-ups.

The protesters torched two vehicles belonging to security company Fidelity Guards and Spoornet, respectively.

“The security guards claimed that the protesters stole two firearms when they accosted them,” Hlathi said.

Msukaligwa spokesperson Mandla Zwane was not available to comment today.

Zwane confirmed yesterday that the municipality faced problems in supplying water because its dams had dried up.

He added that he would check if the allegations that Bongwe barred companies from cooperating with the MCC were true or not.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.