More service delivery protests hit Free State

2012-05-02 12:29

Residents of Mokwallo, in Vredefort, have blocked roads with burning tyres and stones.

A group of 2 000 residents protested against an alleged lack of service delivery in the Free State township today, police spokesperson Maseleka Langa said.

Residents were unhappy with disruptions to electricity and water supplies, which they had apparently been promised would be restored yesterday.

Langa said residents attempted to set fire to a municipal building in Mokwallo, and broke many of its windows with stones.

Police had been in the township since 2am this morning.

The Vredefort protests follow protests in two other Free State towns since Friday.

Fifty-three people were due to appear in court in Reddersburg today after a service delivery protest turned violent on Monday.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Ikobeng Hlubi said the accused were going to appear on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property, arson and sabotage.

Residents burned down the municipal offices, blockaded roads and threw stones at the library and a supermarket in town.

The N6 was closed down for traffic and motorists were warned to use an alternative route. Hlubi said although the road was cleaned of all the stones, people working at the stop-and-go posts that forms part of the road construction did not pitch for work today.

Residents of Zastron protested about service delivery on Friday. The protest turned violent and protestors started to loot shops belonging to foreigners.

Police in Bloemfontein also confirmed the looting of shops in Bloemfontein in Phase 9, 10 and in the Khayelitsha informal settlement.

A spokesperson of the police said the violence was sparked when three residents were arrested in connection with the murder of a Lesotho resident.

He said two of the accused were foreigners.

Residents then started looting shops belonging to foreigners, blaming the owners for the crime rate in their neighbourhoods.

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