News24

Cops fire at Brits protesters

2010-02-25 11:44

Brits - Six people were injured on Thursday morning when police fired rubber bullets at protesting residents of Oukasi in Brits, North West police said.

They were trying to force their way into the municipal building during a service delivery protest, and police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse them, said Captain Adele Myburgh.

She said about 1 500 protesters barricaded the entrance to the township with stones and burning tyres from 06:00 and later moved to the municipal offices.

"There were 1 500 people wanting to force their way to the building. Six of them were injured when police tried to disperse them, and a few were arrested for public violence," she said, adding that the residents were complaining about the quality of water in the Madibeng municipality.

Water 'contaminated'


Beeld newspaper reported on Tuesday that the municipality warned residents to boil their tap water as it had been contaminated.

The protesters tried to join members of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) who were also marching to the municipal building to demand that mayor Sophie Molokoane-Machika, who is also the deputy chair of the SA Local Government Association (Salga), be fired.

"The first group did not have a permit to protest and had to be dispersed, while Samwu was allowed to deliver its memorandum to the municipality," said Myburgh.

Samwu leader Jerry Mokwena said workers were unhappy about the appointment of companies to provide services which municipal workers were rendering.

"How can the municipality appoint a service provider to cut grass while municipal workers are performing that task?

"We want the mayor to be fired for political interference in the administration of the municipality."

Municipal spokesperson Patrick Morathi said the municipality would respond to the issues raised in the memorandum in due course.

SAPA