Arrests after Ficksburg chaos

2011-03-23 14:11

Some 26 people have been arrested on public violence charges in Ficksburg after residents burnt and looted shops belonging to foreign nationals, Free State police said today.

Police spokesperson Captain Phumelelo Dhlamini said 26 people were arrested in relation to the protest action last night.

The protesters looted and burnt 12 shops belonging to foreign nationals.

The demonstration was believed to be in reaction to changes in the local candidate lists for the local elections from which preferred candidates’ names had been removed.

No one was injured during the protest.

The group was expected to appear in court tomorrow.

Meanwhile, residents of Meqheleng township marched to the municipal offices in Ficksburg at 10am today to hand over a memorandum on service delivery issues.

The Setsoto local municipality manager Bafana Mthembu said the Meqheleng Concerned Citizens group handed over demands for issues including proper water supply, repairs to sewerage drains and waste removal.

Mthembu said the municipality would try to respond to the demands in a positive way during community meetings today.

“The annual report of the municipality would be discussed by the municipality with the community and stakeholders,” Mthembu said.

He said the management would “engage and explain” the towns planning and progress.

These include a R40-million project to build two reservoirs for water to Meqheleng, the installation of water meters in the township and the repair of leaking water pipelines in the rest of the system.

Plans to address other identified problems would also be explained.

Mthembu confirmed last night’s protests over alleged “unsatisfied election processes” in the same township.

Police said the march to hand over the memorandum on Wednesday went without incident.

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