Eastern Cape protestors arrested

2013-01-22 22:53
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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Johannesburg - At least 44 people were arrested in Flagstaff during a protest that left one police officer injured, Eastern Cape police said on Tuesday.

"These people were charged with an illegal gathering and public violence," said police spokesperson Mduduzi Godlwana.

The group blocked the R61 road leading to Flagstaff on Monday.

"Police were trying to stop them but they became violent and threw stones at police, so we had to arrest them," said Godlwana.

A policeman's hand was injured, but he was not taken to hospital.

Godlwana said the protest was over the removal of their containers -which were used to sell goods - by the local municipality at the weekend.

The Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) claimed 20 people were arrested in the protest, which was over basic services.

It claimed residents were attacked by police.

"The protest had only been going on for 10 to 20 minutes before the police arrived and immediately began chasing people around and arresting them indiscriminately."

The protest was organised by the Siphaqheni Residents' Association and the DSM to fight for improvement in services.

"Memorandums and several marches have been ignored by the local authorities," it said.

"Residents therefore decided to block the road leading into Flagstaff, hoping that this desperate act would warrant government attention."

Godlwana said the arrested group was due to appear in court shortly.

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