53 Reddersburg protesters due in court

2012-05-01 16:33
Bloemfontein - Fifty-three people will appear in the Reddersburg Magistrate's Court after a violent protest by residents of the nearby Matoporong township, Free State police said on Tuesday.

"They will appear tomorrow [Wednesday] on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property, arson and sabotage," Sergeant Ikobeng Hlubi said.

She said everything was calm in Reddersburg on Tuesday.

However, the N6 in Reddersburg remained closed to traffic because of stones in the road.

Contrary to earlier reports, only 53 people were arrested for the protests, she said.

Violent protest

On Monday the Reddersburg's municipal building was set alight and protesters also threw stones at the municipal building, library and a supermarket.

The protesters were angry about an unsatisfactory response to a memorandum handed to the Kopanong local municipality three weeks ago.

Hlubi said the protesters were calm late on Monday morning and in the early afternoon, but that renewed violence broke out when it appeared that talks with the municipality had failed.

However, the Democratic Alliance argued that whenever there were protests it was far too easy to "trot out the usual lack of service delivery problems" and have a protest.

"There are service delivery problems throughout the Free State, and Reddersburg is not the worst. This just appears to be too well orchestrated - Zastron last week and now Reddersburg," DA spokesperson on local government and housing, Peter Frewen, said.

"Surely, political interference cannot be ruled out."

He said it was time that the African National Congress elected councillors who understood their roles and who were accountable to the public that elect them and take responsibility for their actions.

"It is time that the ANC Deployment Committee stops placing comrades, friends and family in positions in municipalities but rather let the council put the right people in management positions in municipalities."

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  service delivery  |  protests

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