26 arrested in Madibeng water protest

2015-03-18 10:19
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Mahikeng - Twenty six people were arrested in Brits during protests over water, North West police said on Wednesday.

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Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said 18 people were arrested in Maboloka near Letlhabile, north of Brits, on Tuesday for allegedly looting shops.

"Letlhabile police arrested seven women and 11 men for looting shops owned by foreign nationals, some of them were arrested inside shops."

He said six men and two women were arrested in Damonsville for blocking the road linking the township and Brits with burning tyres.

"They were charged with public violence."

He said the situation was calm in Jericho and Letlhabile, although roads were still barricaded.

"A group of people gathered in Letlhabile this morning [Wednesday], police are monitoring the situation," he said.

A councillor's house and the tribal council offices were torched in Jericho on Monday night.

Fana Matli and his family were not home when the house was burnt.

Damage

The tribal council office was partially burnt while damage to the councillor's house was "massive", Colonel Mokgwabone said.

"It is alleged that before setting alight the buildings the protesters looted from two foreign national owned shops."

The protest was sparked by a shortage of water in Jericho and Letlhabile at the weekend, the Madibeng municipality said.

Municipal spokesperson Lebogang Tsogang said the municipality had water supply problems due to ageing infrastructure at the Brits water treatment works.

When the water supply was cut the municipality used water tankers.

‘No need to act’

Mokgwabone said four people arrested for public violence in Letlhabile on Monday were released on warning at the Brits Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. Their case was postponed to 28 March.

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo appealed to protesting residents in Madibeng to exercise their freedom to protest with responsibility, refrain from destruction of public property and hindering free movement of others, including prevention of schooling and learning in the area.

He said the provincial government was ready and committed to deal with recurring service delivery issues in Madibeng and other areas of the province.

"There is therefore no need for community to act in desperation because government is always open for dialogue with community at any time."

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  protests

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