MEC condemns Jericho arson

2015-03-17 19:46
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Johannesburg - North West community safety MEC Gaoage Molapisi on Tuesday condemned the burning down of public and private property in Jericho, near Brits.

"Those involved in these criminal activities will be arrested and we are definitely going to oppose bail for those arrested," he said.

A councillor's house and tribal council office were torched during a protest over water in Jericho on Monday night.

"Public safety is our responsibility as the department and we are not going to allow violent actions and damage to public and private property," Molapisi said.

He appealed to residents to stop unlawful acts.

North West police said the tribal council office was partially burnt while damage to the councillor's house was "massive".

"It is alleged that before setting alight the buildings the protesters looted from two foreign national owned shops," police spokesperson Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.

The protest was sparked by a shortage of water in Jericho and Letlhabile at the weekend, the Madibeng municipality said.

Municipal spokesperson Lebogang Tsogang said the municipality had water supply problems due to ageing infrastructure at the Brits water treatment works. When the water supply was cut the municipality used water tankers.

Jericho resident Rakgadi Mokubela said schools were closed on Tuesday and people did not go to work.

Taps are dry

"Roads have been blocked and a shop near the police station was looted," she told Sapa.

"We are gathering at the police station waiting for the mayor of Madibeng [Jostina Mothibe] to tell us when will the municipality supply us with water," she said.

"We have water meters installed in our yards but the taps are dry."

She said the taps ran dry about three years ago. They had been buying water at R3 for a 20 litre, and R50 for a 200 litre, container.

In February residents of Majakaneng, south of Brits, protested about water supply.

Four people died in Mothotlung, Madibeng, during a protest over access to water in 2014.

Ironically Madibeng means "the place of water". The name was derived from the natural beauty of the area that encompasses the Hartbeespoort, Rooikoppies, Vaalkop, and Klipvoor dams.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  service delivery

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