SHOPS and government offices had to close for the day during a protest that began in Matatiele on Monday after it had been suspended on August 31. The protest was led by the Route 56 Matatiele Forum, which is made up of Makhoba, Mzongwana, Sibi, Mafube and Nkosana community members. Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle had promised to respond to their grievances when he met protesters at the Maluti Civic Centre on August 31, but the community says his promise was a lie because nothing has been done.The protesters want the rural roads from Matatiele to the border area of Lesotho tarred.The forum chairperson, Nhlahla Dhlamini, said the premier has failed to adhere to his promises and people are fed up with his empty promises. “We are protesting so that government hears us,” said Dhlamini.On Monday people burnt tyres and put huge rocks on the road between Matatiele and Maluti, and as a result traffic was disrupted for hours until the road was cleared by police. Some shop owners closed their business fearing for their lives. SAPS spokesperson Captain Raphael Motloung said 13 people were arrested and charged with public violence on Monday, but released on warning on Tuesday. “No damage to property or injuries was reported. The police will monitor Matatiele,” said Motloung.He warned people to be cautious when going to town.