35 due in court for public violence

2012-01-11 07:44
Bloemfontein - Thirty-five people will appear in the Bethlehem Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence, arson, malicious damage to property and burglary on Wednesday, Free State police said.

The group, many of them from the Kgubetswana informal settlement near Clarens, were arrested after public violence erupted in the area on Friday, Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said on Tuesday.

Three children were among those arrested.

The illegal demonstrations, stemming from problems such as service delivery, led to the closure of the R711 over the weekend. It was reopened on Monday. Protesters damaged a cultural village and shops in Kgubetswana. Tuck shops belonging to foreigners were looted.

On Tuesday afternoon the mayor of the Dihlabeng municipality spoke to residents at the local stadium about their memorandum of grievances which he received late last year.

Afterwards a group marched to the Clarens police station and demanded the release of arrested community leaders and other members of the public. Police used a water canon to disperse the crowd. On their way back to the informal settlement they broke windows at the municipal offices.

Mophiring said police would stay in the area overnight.

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Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  service delivery  |  protests

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