Gauteng premier condemns protest violence

2014-02-06 12:24
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Protest in Bronkhorstspruit

Residents in Bronkhorstspruit have been protesting over poor public service delivery.

Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on Thursday condemned the violent protest in Zithobeni, near Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria, where several municipal buildings were torched.

"We understand your frustrations but destroying essential public amenities such as libraries and police stations is not the right way of demonstrating your unhappiness," she said in a statement.

"We urge communities to access available platforms to raise their genuine concerns so that perpetrators of violent crimes can be isolated and exposed."

Protests erupted in the townships of Zithobeni, Rethabiseng, and Ekangala near Bronkhorstspruit over the high price of electricity.

Police said several buildings had been set alight since last Thursday, including a clinic, a library, and a hall.

A total of seven buildings were set alight during protests in the area. Two people were arrested in Rethabiseng on Wednesday for public violence and illegal public gathering.

On Thursday, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) said the torching of a clinic was a "regrettable tactic" that would backfire soon.

"This tactic equals [the] death sentence to many sick individuals and children in the area," spokesman Sibongiseni Delihlazo said in a statement.

"While Denosa respects and acknowledges the genuine demands by members of the community... burning down a clinic... equals to sacrificing the sick and vulnerable in the area as a voice box... which is a cruel and ruthless tactic that must be addressed urgently."

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  protests  |  service delivery
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