Huge police presence in Ficksburg for meeting

2011-06-09 14:26

The police today rolled out a wire barrier around the Setsoto local municipality building in Ficksburg in anticipation of a meeting between the community and provincial government officials on service delivery issues.

Free State police spokesperson Captain Phumelela Dlamini said the huge police presence was in anticipation of the meeting.

A meeting between the Meqheleng Concerned Citizens and officials from the Free State cooperative governance department to give feedback on the community’s demands, was expected to take place in the town hall.

Earlier, it was announced that three directors and a manager from the municipality had been sent on special leave following allegations of corruption.

The manager was from the roads and storm water department at the municipality, department head Kopung Ralinkontsane said.

A feedback meeting had been planned for May 31, but it was postponed for the swearing-in ceremony of the new Setsoto municipal councillors.

A meeting on June 7 did not take place.

Public violence erupted at the municipality in April during service delivery protests.

During one of the protests, in which the community demanded feedback from municipal leaders, Meqheleng protester Andries Tatane died, after he was allegedly shot and assaulted by police.

Residents set alight two municipal buildings and the community showed their dissatisfaction with service delivery issues for several days. Roads were blocked with stones and bricks, tyres were set alight.

Tatane’s murder investigation, handled by the Independent Complaints Directorate, has in the meantime led to the arrest of eight public order policemen on charges of murder and assault.

The eight men were expected to appear in court again later this month. 

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