Journalist threatened at Sasolburg protest

2013-01-22 12:20
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Sasolburg chaos

A violent municipal demarcation protest led to 187 people being arrested. See all the pictures.

kalahari.com

Sasolburg - A Sapa journalist who was filming a crowd dancing was threatened by a knife-wielding man on Tuesday, as they waited for Free State Premier Ace Magashule to arrive in protest-hit Sasolburg.

"A man in his mid-20s, who wore a colourful bandanna and no shirt, approached me and asked why I was shooting [footage] and that I should stop," said Sapa cameraman Vumani Mkhize.

He was at the Moses Kotane Stadium in Zamdela, in the Free State, the scene of violent protests over the past few days.

"I ignored him and the man again said that I should only start shooting when Ace Magashule arrives. He then pulled out a knife in full view of the crowd. I picked up my camera equipment and started to walk away.

"He then walked towards me and asked to look at my equipment. I ignored him and walked away."

The protester then left Mkhize alone.

Sasolburg residents were flocking to the stadium, where Minister of Co-operative Governance and Public Affairs Richard Baloyi was expected to address them.

Some carried umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. A group inside the stadium sang and chanted struggle songs.

Children said they had been told not to go to school. Some said they had gone, but that their teachers were not there.

Roads in the area were covered in burnt debris on Tuesday. A police helicopter hovered overhead to keep a watch on protesters.

Police said 187 people had been arrested since Sunday in the protests, which were apparently about plans to merge Sasolburg with the Ngwathe local municipality, under which Parys falls.

Constable Peter Kareli said no violence was reported on Monday night.

On Monday, protesters set two trucks alight and injured two police officers inside a Nyala (armoured) vehicle, which had became stuck in mud.

Water cannons and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowd. Some residents barricaded roads and threw stones at police cars.
- SAPA

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  protests
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