Sasolburg riots hold up couple’s court case

2013-01-23 00:00

A MARGATE couple who needed to go to Sasolburg to plead to charges of stockpiling ammunition in the belief that the end of the world was imminent cannot do so because the town is under siege.

Violent protests by residents, who object to plans to merge Sasolburg and Parys municipalities continued for a third day yesterday, with even the police station coming under attack.

When The Witness called Sasolburg police station for an update on the couple’s case, a woman constable, speaking on behalf of investigating officer Constable Peter Kareli, said the station was under siege by rioters.

“I can’t help you, we are under attack as we speak. Please call Kareli some other time. There is nothing we can do right now,” she said, before hanging up.

Free State police last week raided the farm near Sasolburg belonging to the couple and found five five-litre buckets of shotgun rounds and 1 200 litres of petrol. They also found stored medical supplies and tinned food in a bunker.

Weekend Witness reported that the unmarried couple believed a scriptural account that the world would descend into chaos and destruction, with a meteorite already headed towards Earth. The couple are suspected of having right-wing links, but their legal representative, Carlo Viljoen, said their beliefs were fundamentally religious.

Viljoen said yesterday the couple had intended to go to Sasolburg to face the charges against them, but their departure would depend on when the unrest in Sasolburg came to an end.

Viljoen said the woman was most likely to face the charges, as she had bought the ammunition. Her partner has a dedicated sports firearm licence and is allowed to buy more than 200 shotgun rounds.

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