Dead body halts service delivery protest

2017-07-19 14:59
Police and protesters turn their focus on dead body found during a protest in Polokwane. (Chester Makana, News24)

Police and protesters turn their focus on dead body found during a protest in Polokwane. (Chester Makana, News24)

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Polokwane - An eviction protest came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday when the protesters fleeing from police stumbled on the body of a dead man.

Police were firing rubber bullets into group of residents of the Nkandla informal settlement in Polokwane when they found the body.

Residents were protesting against an eviction notice.

They stood for more than an hour trying to identify the victim until a cellphone with bloody stains was found metres away from the corpse.

The victim was identified and his family was tracked.

Eviction notice

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said they were investigating the case while maintaining peace and order in the area.

The protest started after residents were told to vacate the land behind Polokwane's Ladana industrial area along Nelson Mandela drive to Seshego.

They blockaded the road, burnt tyres and trees, and flung rubble into the streets, barring motorists from connecting to the province's capital city.

Residents said the move came after they received a notice that they are going to be evicted on Wednesday. This is the second time the local municipality has evicted people from the settlement.

Community leaders said beside poverty, crime was part of their daily lives. They demanded protection and service delivery.

Community leader Dennis Leshabane said the protest was paused to allow police to investigate the death.

"We need services and a fence around our shacks; we don't want to be moved from here. If they move, they will end up in the streets," said Leshabane.

He said they wanted the local municipality to assure them it will provide accommodation.

"There is no service delivery; our lives are exposed to germs and bacteria," said Leshabane.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  protests

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