Zamdela: Police thwart ‘Marikana’ plans

2013-04-19 17:03

A heavy police presence in Zamdela, Sasolburg, prevented protesters from carrying out their threat of a “Marikana-like” revolt today.

Last week, residents marched to the police station to lay charges against Metsimaholo Mayor Brutus Mahlaku, his mayoral committee and the municipality.

Shoes Tsipane, one of the march leaders, said should Mahlaku not resign by this week, residents were “prepared to go back to Marikana” – a reference to the violent wildcat strike which culminated in the shooting of 34 mine workers on August 16.

But their plans were thwarted by a heavy police presence.

Sixteen arrests were made.

Zamdela made headlines earlier this year when residents went on the rampage – looting shops – because of the proposed merger of Metsimaholo with Ngwathe.

View our gallery: Looting Zamdela

Today, many shops were closed.

A Cashbuild store near the police station, which was looted and almost burnt down, did not operate. A KFC in the vicinity was closed, with a sign “closed due to industrial action” displayed outside its doors.

Said police communications officer Constable Peter Kareli: “The strategy we used was informing the community that today’s activity was illegal (permission had not been granted for a march) by going to the local radio station, Karabo FM, and Lesedi FM.”

Disgruntled community members said they would not rest until Mahlaku had been removed from his post.

David Moloi, a resident, said: “We are showing our support for this march, even though it’s raining. We still want him to leave!”

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