Councillor’s house burnt down in North West protest

2015-03-17 15:23

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Johannesburg - A councillor's house and a tribal office were burnt down in Jericho, near Brits, during a service delivery protest, North West police said on Tuesday.

On Monday night, the tribal council office was partially burnt while damage to the councillor's house was "massive", Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.

"It is alleged that before setting alight the buildings the protesters looted from two foreign national owned shops."

The protest was sparked by a shortage of water in Jericho and Letlhabile at the weekend, the Madibeng municipality said.

Municipal spokesperson Lebogang Tsogang said the municipality had water supply problems due to ageing infrastructure at the Brits water treatment works.

Alert issued

When the water supply was cut the municipality used water tankers.

She said an alert was issued to Letlhabile residents on Friday about the water cut off.

Residents protested on Sunday. Mokgwabone said roads in Letlhabile were still barricaded on Tuesday.

"Roads leading to various destinations including Brits are still barricaded. The police are currently monitoring the situation."

Four people were arrested for public violence on Monday and were expected to appear in the Brits Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

A Jericho resident, Rakgadi Mokubela, said on Tuesday that schools were closed and people did not go to work.

"Roads have been blocked and a shop near the police station was looted," she told Sapa.

"We are [gathering] at the police station waiting for the mayor of Madibeng [Jostina Mothibe] to tell us when will the municipality supply us with water," she said.

"We have water meters installed in our yards but the taps are dry," she said.

Roads still blocked

She said the taps ran dry about three years ago. They had been buying water at R3 for a 20 litre, and R50 for a 200 litre, container.

Mokgwabone said the situation was calm although roads leading to Brits were still blocked.

In February residents of Majakaneng, south of Brits, protested about water supply.

Four people died in Mothotlung, Madibeng, during a protest over access to water in 2014.

Ironically Madibeng means "the place of water". The name was derived from the natural beauty of the area that encompasses the Hartbeespoort, Rooikoppies, Vaalkop, and Klipvoor dams.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  service delivery  |  water

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