Police spray Sasolburg protesters with dye

2013-01-22 13:11

Police sprayed hundreds of protesters in Zamdela, Sasolburg, with blue dye as chaos continued in the Free State town.

This morning, Zamdela residents opposed to the proposed merger of the Metsimaholo Local Municipality with the Ngwathe Local Municipality (Parys), waited in vain for government officials to address them at the local stadium.

Residents retaliated with stones and bricks, damaging the windows of a police Nyala.

After waiting for about an hour, residents, among them school children, attempted to march towards the Sasolburg central business district but police halted their progress at the township’s entrance.

Residents told City Press they wanted to march to the local police station and demand the release of about 200 protesters arrested since Sunday.

A police Nyala chased residents into the township’s barricaded streets while a helicopter hovered above.

Many of the protesters appear drunk while some are still drinking alcohol looted at a warehouse yesterday.

Free State Premier Ace Magashule has been the subject of many of their derogatory songs.

“uAce asimfuni, sifun’iZamdela (We don’t want Ace, we want Zamdela),” they sang energetically in one of their songs.

» City Press photographer Leon Sadiki was hit by a rubber bullet in the back of his right shoulder after police fired into the crowd. Protesters later tried to intimidate Sadiki but he managed to sidestep the confrontation.

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