North West premier: No reports of Majakaneng violence

2015-02-06 14:52
Premier Supra Mahumapelo. (City Press)

Premier Supra Mahumapelo. (City Press)

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Johannesburg - There were no reports of violence in Majakaneng, near Mooinooi, on Thursday, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo's office said.

The situation was being monitored, said his spokesperson Sam Mokaila.

"Our team is working on the ground preparing for a visit by the premier tomorrow [Saturday] at 10:00," Mokaila said.

"We have not heard any untoward reports of violent activity as of today."

North West police were not available for comment.

On Thursday, Mokaila said technicians had been sent to Majakaneng to resolve water problems in the area, after several days of violent protests during which locals demanded water and electricity.

Seven arrested

Protesters have been demanding water there for years.

During protests last year, one resident said taps had been dry since 2005.

When the unrest started on Monday, protesters looted two foreign-owned shops and set alight a bus, and barricaded parts of the N4.

Seven people were arrested and would face charges including public violence and malicious damage to property.

Meanwhile, Malamulele, Limpopo, was quiet, with no serious incidents reported on Friday, said Colonel Ronel Otto.

Violent protests in the area started before the general elections in May last year and reignited a month ago with residents demanding their own municipality.

Four schools in the area had been set alight.

Arson not ruled out

Otto said five classrooms of a school in Khakhanwa, and the principal's office was damaged in a fire on Wednesday evening.

"No arrests have been made and the police have been deployed to the area," she said on Thursday.

A section of Malamulele High School was set alight on Monday night. On Tuesday, a school in Gikana village, about 40km from Malamulele, was torched. A third was set alight at the nearby Xikunda village.

Otto said arson had not been ruled out as a possible cause.

On Friday, roads were blocked and tyres set alight after the Municipal Demarcation Board announced that Malamulele did not qualify for its own municipality.

Residents claim the Thulamela municipality has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking areas, rather than their own, which is dominated by Xitsonga speakers.

In Gauteng the Randfontein local municipality condemned the protests there on Wednesday.

‘Criminality disguised as delivery protests’

Mayor Sylvia Thebenare's house and car, the library, municipal offices and hall were among the properties burnt. Protesters looted shops owned by foreign nationals.

"We note these as acts of criminality disguised as 'service delivery' protests," council speaker Mzi Khumalo said in a statement.

The destruction of public facilities meant to serve the community was unacceptable, he said.

He called on Randfontein residents to act against crime, which he said was disguised as service delivery concerns.

Khumalo said the council had also noted that residents started cleaning up and removing rubble on the streets in the early hours of Thursday.

"This goes a long away in achieving a responsible citizenry, as every responsible, peace-loving citizen will work towards restoration of calm and order in the entire Randfontein area," he said.

The council recognised the concern of Mohlakeng's foreign traders, who had left the area until normality was restored.

He called on residents to ensure peace and stability were restored.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  service delivery  |  protests

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