35 due in court for public violence

2012-01-11 07:44

Bloemfontein - Thirty-five people will appear in the Bethlehem Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence, arson, malicious damage to property and burglary on Wednesday, Free State police said.

The group, many of them from the Kgubetswana informal settlement near Clarens, were arrested after public violence erupted in the area on Friday, Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said on Tuesday.

Three children were among those arrested.

The illegal demonstrations, stemming from problems such as service delivery, led to the closure of the R711 over the weekend. It was reopened on Monday. Protesters damaged a cultural village and shops in Kgubetswana. Tuck shops belonging to foreigners were looted.

On Tuesday afternoon the mayor of the Dihlabeng municipality spoke to residents at the local stadium about their memorandum of grievances which he received late last year.

Afterwards a group marched to the Clarens police station and demanded the release of arrested community leaders and other members of the public. Police used a water canon to disperse the crowd. On their way back to the informal settlement they broke windows at the municipal offices.

Mophiring said police would stay in the area overnight.

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  • David - 2012-01-11 08:13

    It's time we make examples of violent protesters. Surely even the most uneducated person can realise you can never build a nation up by breaking it down.

  • chris.kleynhans - 2012-01-11 08:32

    It appears as if these were just criminal hooligans that were looking for an excuse to loot....but having said that, how can it be possible in a democratic state where people are suppose to be free to have a term such as 'illegal demonstrations?'....Why do we have to go on our knees and beg if we want to show our grievances?..the problem in a one man one vote democracy is that the voices of the minority groups, in whatever form they may come, are silenced if they can demonstrate to make themselves more visible. They effectively have to sell their ideas to the group that has the majority and they require to stand out to do so. There should be much more provision for people to at short notice and with little red tape to raise their concerns. Apparently 'speakers corner' has fall out of use in London but facilities where people can go and speak and maybe even get TV coverage in a special channel may be a good concept to broaden democracy. The way the opinion of people are handled in the press is despicable and you normally have a journalist that translate the words never spoken. I have seen it many times, so don't think the press is necessarily integrous when it comes to the voice of the people...

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-01-11 09:20

      Your question can be answered, but which ever way it gets done it still stays the egg and chicken scenario. Using your demonstrating rights goes along with good behavior, but if having the initial right, to do it, could also prevent bad behavior. Than there is the political aspirations of other that influence that as well. I think it is the easiest ever for a black person to become a "politician" these days. You can use them to show there grievances while they support you, but when in power and anchored by a leading political party you ignore the same people till it is election time. You will be guaranteed of there vote.

  • Hermann - 2012-01-11 08:46

    Is this not inline with the ANC's liberation struggle slogan "make South Africa ungovernable"? Time to start speaking of the legacy of the struggle.

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