14 arrested after election protests

2011-03-23 13:05

Fourteen people are due to appear in North West courts today following protests over election candidates and service delivery, provincial police said.

Six men were arrested for public violence yesterday in Boikhutso in Kudu and Philo streets after they allegedly barricaded roads with burning tyres and rocks, Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

A group of about 30 people involved in the protest was unhappy about the selection of candidates for the upcoming local government elections and over service delivery.

In Taung on Monday about 400 residents gathered at Kokomeng village where they also burned tyres and blocked the street with rocks. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse them.

Three men and five women were arrested.

A local leader convened a meeting to resolve the issue but, Ngubane said 90% of the people walked out.

The 14 arrested would appear in various courts on Wednesday.

Yesterday in Mafikeng, along the road between Mafikeng and Zeerust, around 21 people gathered to voice displeasure over the election candidate lists.

In Ipelegeng about 50 locals barricaded roads with burning tyres and stones.

The ANC in the North West could not immediately be reached for comment.

Protests erupted in three provinces this week over the selection of candidates to stand as councillors in the elections.

In the Western Cape yesterday ANC members stormed the provincial headquarters in Cape Town and had to be removed by police.

Eighteen people were arrested following a protest in Ficksburg, in the Free State, last night. The ANC has been taken to court over its Eastern Cape lists.

Frustration over lists was also one of the causes of a violent protest in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, last month.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe yesterday described unhappiness over candidate selection as “hiccups”.

Mantashe said these incidents reflected a “disappointment emanating from a democratic process”.

 Complaints received resulted from particular candidate’s “ambitions” being “watered down”, he said.

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