Cops keep watch in 'stable' Sasolburg

2013-01-22 18:31
Sasolburg cops (Picture: AP)

Sasolburg cops (Picture: AP)

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Johannesburg - Police said on Tuesday that the situation in Zamdela, Sasolburg, is stable, after days of violent protests relating to a proposed municipality merger.

In the wake of the violence, co-operative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi took a decision to reverse the incorporation of the Sasolburg municipality into that of Parys in the Free State.

Baloyi said the issue of demarcation was misinterpreted by residents, and that a task team will be established to address the municipal demarcation issue.

Residents in the Zamdela area, reportedly upset at the proposed merger, had gone on the rampage, looting hardware shops, liquor stores and shops belonging to foreign nationals.

A police spokesperson said that the situation in Zamdela is stable for now, but all hot spots are still being monitored.

Police were, however, concerned about events in nearby Heilbron, where about 200 pople have gathered and caused disruptions in the Phiritona area.

According to reports, at least two shops and police vehicles have been damaged.

Meanwhile, a man was allegedly shot dead by a motorist in Zamdela, according to police.

Provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Khela Sithole said that according to the incidents reported, the community had obstructed a motorist while he was driving by.

"That citizen reacted by taking out a gun and shot at the ground; unfortunately one of the community members was wounded," Sithole said.

He later received the report that the man had died in hospital.

Police were investigating.

Earlier, protesters laid siege to the police station there, and later attempted to torch the premises.

"Rubber bullets were fired and water cannon were used to disperse the protesters," spokesperson Constable Lebohang Mareletsa said.

Radio station 702 reported that angry protesters are demanding an explanation from the police why the SAPS shot at protesters, injuring a number of them, "attacking" the Zamdela police station.

Police vehicles were damaged and windows at the police station smashed.

Beeld reported that at least five police officers' homes were burned down by protesters.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  protests
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