Residents arrested for violence

2011-10-26 12:39

Fifteen people have been arrested for public violence in a village near Letsitele in Limpopo, police said today.

Residents damaged and ransacked two shops in the area, one on Monday and another yesterday, said Lieutenant-Colonel Ronel Otto.

“The shop [on Tuesday] was pelted with stones and two bakkies belonging to the shop owner were set alight and destroyed.

“The owner of the shop fired shots into the looting community members and injured a 22-year-old man from Mafarana village in the right leg.”

The violence began after the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman, Beauty Masesi, from Mulate village near Letsitele.

She was last seen when she went to withdraw money from a bank in Tzaneen on Thursday. Otto said residents claimed a man living in a nearby village was to blame for her disappearance. Police brought the man in for questioning, but released him on Monday.

“Members of the communities of Mulate and Ntsako villages were dissatisfied with the release of the man,” Otto said. On Monday, a spaza shop belonging to the sister of the supposed accused was looted and ransacked by community members.”

Yesterday, Ntsako residents attacked the shop of a cousin of the accused. The arrests were made yesterday and Wednesday, and more arrests were imminent, said Otto.

The group was charged with public violence and malicious damage to property. They would appear in court soon.

Police were still searching for Masesi, Otto said. 

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