North West protesters set houses alight

2014-04-08 21:38
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Protesters partially burnt down the back room of a house belonging to a police officer in the Boitumelong township on Tuesday morning, North West police said.

On Monday night protesters torched the houses of a municipal councillor and a municipal clerk in Cavandale township, said police spokesperson Thulane Ngubane.

Six other houses and a community hall were set alight in the area earlier on Monday.

"The unruly behaviour of the community led to burning down of a number of houses belonging to the mayor, two officials of the municipality, two police officers, and the neighbour of the mayor," said Ngubane.

Ngubane said the protests caused the closure of the N12 from the side of Christiana to the side of Schweizer-Reneke.

"Protesters also took their illegal action to the N12, next to Boitumelong where they attacked and pelted vehicles with stones," said Ngubane.

Trucks driving along the route were stoned and got stuck on the barricades.

"One truck driver lost control of his truck and it overturned and ended on the side of the road," said Ngubane.

Traffic would be diverted until the road was cleared.

Protesters also disrupted schools and pelted police with stones and petrol-bombed a Nyala on Monday, said Ngubane.

Two police officers were injured and taken to hospital.

"One police officer lost his finger in the process," said Ngubane.

The officers inside the vehicle escaped unharmed.

Protesters were demanding the resignation of the mayor and some councillors, accusing them of nepotism and failing to deliver basic services.

Around 100 people have been arrested since the protest began last Wednesday.

They have been charged with public violence and malicious damage to property.

Sixteen of them appeared in the Bloemhof Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The case was postponed to Friday when they were expected to apply for bail.

Ngubane said: "The situation is volatile and the police are closely monitoring the situation, and will continue effecting arrests on those who are breaking the law."

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