Balfour calm after protests

2010-02-09 11:03

Balfour was calm this morning following violent protests yesterday,

Mpumalanga police said.

“The situation is very calm. Nothing serious has been reported this

morning,” said Sgt Sam Tshabalala.

Police arrested at least 22 people for public violence yesterday

afternoon after shops were looted and roads barricaded at the Siyathemba


“These people barricaded roads with burning tyres, and looted

several shops belonging to foreigners, but no one was injured,” said


A municipal office was set alight in the township during the

violence, which started on Sunday and continued into yesterday.

Police had opened a case of arson, but no one had yet been charged,

Tshabalala said.

“The groups of people who were causing the commotion saw police

coming from a distance and then dispersed. We didn’t catch any of them,” he


About 15 foreigners who fled the violence went to the police

station yesterday morning to ask to be accompanied back into the township to

check on their shops and collect their belongings.

Tshabalala said police would continue to monitor the


President Jacob Zuma visited Balfour last year following a series

of protests at Siyathemba by residents demanding the removal of all Mbombela

municipal councillors.

In July, residents took to the streets, burning tyres and

barricading roads. About 30 foreigners had to stay at the Balfour police station

for safety reasons.

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (Cormsa)

said in a statement yesterday that the renewed protests in the township were the

government’s fault, and that Zuma’s visit to the area with a team of ministers

last year had not yielded any results.

“Despite the visit of a task team of ministers to the area, no

effective and sustainable solution was found to address the grievances being

raised and as a result, further violence has occurred,” it said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.