Truck torched during North West protest

2014-02-06 09:45
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Protest in Bronkhorstspruit

Residents in Bronkhorstspruit have been protesting over poor public service delivery.

Johannesburg - A cement truck was torched as a protest flared up in Majakaneng, in the North West, on Thursday morning with residents demanding better service delivery.

"The community is angry because there is no water, no proper roads and we don't have the RDP houses we were promised," said community member Pule Rakomane by phone.

"From 2005/2006 there has been no water. We have a reservoir and some water pumps in our yards but there is no water."

He said residents had resorted to buying water from neighbouring townships, alleging that municipal officials sold the water to the mines.

No injuries

Residents had been protesting since 04:00, burning tyres and blockading roads in the area, said Rakomane.

A cement truck had been torched by the community but there were no reports of injuries.

"The police were here but they just now went away," said Rakomane.

He said the community did not want a violent protest.

"We don't want any violence. We want those people [ward councillors] to come and answer to us."

North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said he would comment once he had received feedback from police officers on the ground.

Last month, four people were killed in Mothutlung, outside Brits in the North West, after residents protested violently for water. They said they had been without water for at least three months.

569 protests in three months

Mineworker Osia Rahube and a photographer known as Bra Mike were shot dead allegedly by police.

Lerato Seema died after allegedly jumping from a moving police Nyala. Police said he was trying to escape from custody. Residents claimed police brutality.

Another protester later died in hospital.

Violent service delivery protests have erupted in pockets of the country.

On Wednesday, acting Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba said police had dealt with 569 protests in the past three months, of which 122 were violent, in the province.

A total of seven buildings had been set alight in Bronkhorstspruit this week and more than 50 people arrested.

In Sebokeng on Wednesday, a protester was shot dead and another was wounded during demonstrations in the area. Five others were arrested for public violence.

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- SAPA

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  service delivery  |  protests
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