Cops fire rubber bullets at protesters

2011-12-16 10:42

Police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse more than 300 people who protested over service delivery at Ottoshoop, near Mahikeng, in North West.

“Police used teargas and fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, who (then) ran into the bushes,” Lesiba Kgwele, spokesperson for North West public safety, said.

Protesters had barricaded the R49 road between Mahikeng and Zeerust with stones and burning tyres since 3am this morning.

Kgwele said two front tyres of a passing VW Polo were punctured after the driver drove over the scattered stones on the road. No one was injured.

“Police have reopened the road but we advise motorists to use other alternative roads until safety is fully restored.”

Residents from a nearby informal settlement have been demanding housing since August.

Kgwele said Human Settlements MEC Desbo Mohono, Mahikeng local municipality mayor Lena Miga and the residents had held a meeting in September.

He said: “It was agreed in the meeting that 107 housing units would soon be increased to 400 for beneficiaries in that area.”

The meeting followed another protest march over housing provision in the previous month.

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