Residents threaten to torch police station

2013-01-23 19:45
Sasolburg protest (Picture: Beeld)

Sasolburg protest (Picture: Beeld)

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Sasolburg - Residents of Deneysville, near Sasolburg, on Wednesday threatened to avenge the "unlawful arrest" of their relatives by setting the town's police station alight.

Thirty-nine people were arrested on Monday and Tuesday during violent protests over the proposal to merge the Metsimaholo local municipality in Sasolburg with the Ngwathe municipality, under which Parys falls.

Sasolburg, Deneysville and Orangeville fall under Metsimaholo.

The residents, accused of public violence and malicious damage to property, appeared in the Sasolburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Twenty-nine of the group, from Deneysville, would apply for bail on 30 January.

But a handful of Deneysville residents outside the court were not happy about the news that their family members would remain in custody, and threatened to torch the town's police station.

When asked whether they were not afraid after two people were killed in Zamdela on Tuesday, Mofokeng said: "Ho shwa ke mahala, re kampa ra shwang kaofela [to die is nothing, we would rather all die]."

Patricia Tabane, 22, said her 43-year-old aunt was arrested while watching the protesters on Tuesday.

"Police came running and everyone ran away including my aunt. She couldn't run faster [than the others]. That's when they took her into an Nyala," Tabane said.

Another resident, Mpho Mofokeng, 32, said some people were arrested when they went to school to fetch their children after the violence broke out.

"My younger brother was on his way to school when he met police," he said.

State prosecutor Hennie Olivier said the bail application had been postponed because the group did not have legal representation.

They applied for Legal Aid help in court on Wednesday.

Magistrate C Neyt released the 10 other accused on a warning.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  protests

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