Mthethwa: Criminality in North West not tolerated

2014-04-28 22:18
Nathi Mthethwa (Picture: Beeld)

Nathi Mthethwa (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Wanton and senseless criminal activity including arson, in the North West would not be tolerated and the police should act swiftly to arrest criminals, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.

"These are criminal and anarchistic acts that can not be tolerated in a democracy. I have instructed SAPS to act swiftly and decisively against the criminals who involved themselves in these crimes," he said.

"The overwhelming majority of South Africans are peace loving and we cannot allow them to suffer because of the criminal acts of a few perpetrators. Police have already made significant arrests and expect to soon make more."

Mthethwa said police arrested 70 people in Bloemhof after a number of houses, including those of eight police officers, were torched.

In Rooigrond near Mafikeng, 12 people were arrested after the house of a councillor was burnt.

One person was arrested in connection with the torching of the African National Congress office in the Freedom Park informal settlement near Rustenburg.

Police were still looking for one person.

On Sunday night, a councillor's house was burnt in Freedom Park.

Mthethwa said the police have profiled people and expect to make arrests in the near future.

The police would oppose bail of these arrested so they will lose their right to vote in the elections as free South Africans, he said.

Acting ministerial spokesperson David Barrit said the violence is linked to service delivery but could aim to disrupt the national elections on 7 May, if it continued.

North West premier Thandi Modise also condemned the violence in the province and said platinum belt workers who are on strike should not disrupt electioneering.

"Workers who are involved in the protracted strike should not be misled into taking out their frustration on political parties that wish to campaign in the area as they are not part to the labour dispute involving Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and mining houses," Modise said in a statement.

Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula's door-to-door campaign in Freedom Park on Sunday was disrupted when Amcu members turned violent.

According to weekend reports, Mbalula was taken away in a bullet-proof vehicle when members of Amcu threw stones at cars.

Modise appealed to political parties to "desist from making irresponsible and populist statements" to make the platinum belt a no-go area for other parties.

"With a new proposal on the table, It is now up to the parties to find one another for an urgent settlement to end the four months old strike which has had a devastating impact on them, our economy and in particular the livelihood of miners and their families," she said.

Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Ango American Platinum have been on strike for the past three months, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500 for entry level workers. On Thursday Amcu rejected the latest offer from the platinum producers.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nathi mthethwa  |  thandi modise  |  fikile mbalula  |  mahikeng
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