Free State clashes worry DA
Bloemfontein - The Democratic Alliance in the Free State expressed concern on Thursday over continuing clashes between police and Clarens residents.
Free State DA leader Roy Jankielsohn said it was becoming a habit to send police into Free State towns, where politicians did not respond to the concerns of locals.
"This was done deliberately to divert the attention away from the lack of service delivery and to transform the issue into one of clashes between the police and the communities."
Various groups of people were arrested on charges of public violence, arson, malicious damage to property and burglary during protests in the town the past week.
Residents from the Kgubetswana informal settlement took part in illegal demonstrations and blocked the R711 over problems such as service delivery.
Protesters damaged a cultural village and shops in Kgubetswana. Tuck shops belonging to foreigners were looted.
Jankielsohn said the dissatisfaction in Clarens and Kgubetswana related to poor service delivery. Residents were protesting against the local municipal and provincial government, which were responsible for service delivery and local economic development in the area, he said.
The party was concerned over complaints that members and activists of opposition parties were being apprehended by the police and accused of instigating the protest action.
Free State police spokesperson Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said several people had been released on bail of R500 after appearing in court this week.
Some of them would be back in court on Friday.