Protesters demand ‘entry fees’ to villages

2014-01-31 09:58

Protesters were blocking roads and demanding entry fees to Relela and Kubjana villages in Limpopo this morning.

A Sapa correspondent came across at least four “pay stations” operated by protesters.

Roads leading into the villages outside Tzaneen were blocked with burning tyres and vandalised “stop” sign boards.

The protesters manning these road blocks were claiming they were collecting funds to help the four grieving families whose relatives died in protests that started about a week ago.

Groups of between five and 10 protesters were manning the “pay stations” and demanding R5 entry fees from cars, and R10 from loaded bakkies, in full view of the police.

Most people paid the “entry fees”. Those who did not pay were forced to turn around.

Police at one stage this morning aimed at the protesters to fire rubber bullets, but the protesters screamed at the officers and the police backed off, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Villagers working outside the two villages were forced to walk long distances as taxi operators refused to drive through the area.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that roads were blocked in and around the villages, saying mainly police Nyalas were driving around.

“You cannot move in those areas – even taxis are not operating,” said Mulaudzi.

He warned residents to be cautious at all times.

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