15 held in N West protests

2012-05-08 21:35

Johannesburg - Fifteen people were arrested for public violence in Lomanyaneng in the North West on Tuesday following violent protests, police said.

The community started burning tyres and barricading roads from around 02:00, said Brigadier Thulane Ngubane.

They were protesting over service delivery and lobbying to have ward councillors in Ward 27 and 31 removed.

Ngubane said Vryburg police were trying to defuse a protest in Dipodi, Southey, Kgokgole and Tlapeng villages, which had started on Monday.

A pregnant woman died in Southey on Tuesday when an ambulance was blocked by protesters from entering the village

"The ambulance was turned back by the unruly mob," said Ngubane.

Police vehicles were stoned by the crowd and shops belonging to Pakistani nationals were vandalised and looted. Children were not able to attend school since Monday.

"According to the information at our disposal, the main concern of the community is alleged to be a need for a tarred road which they were apparently promised three to four years ago," said Ngubane.

"Police today [Tuesday] attempted to calm the situation after community members of Dipodi and of the surrounding villages started throwing stones at passing vehicles and burning grazing."

Police were investigating claims that community members were plotting to destroy government property in Southey.

The 15 arrested were expected to appear before the Mmabatho Magistrate's Court soon.