Limpopo protesters wreak havoc

2014-01-30 19:04
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Residents in Relela, near Tzaneen, were throwing stones at police on Thursday afternoon after a property was torched earlier in nearby Kubyana, Limpopo police said.

"There is public disobedience taking place, such as stone throwing," police spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

More police officers had been sent to the area.

A Sapa correspondent reported on Thursday afternoon that commuters in both Relela and Kubyana were stranded, as taxi drivers refused to go there.

The protests began after a schoolgirl from Relela, Khomotso Raolane, 15, was found murdered and mutilated in Mandlakazi, near Letsitele, on Friday, 24 January.

Her hands had been cut off and her cellphone and house keys placed inside her stomach, which had been sliced open. Her arms had been tied behind her back.

Two people were taken in for questioning but later released. Residents burnt their houses down on Saturday. During that protest a 15-year-old boy was shot dead, allegedly by police.

Earlier on Thursday, police said residents of Kubyana torched the property of a local businessman after the body of a child was found in his car.

"We are still investigating the case of the child being found in the car," said Mulaudzi.

What was most disturbing was police were being targeted, with the violence being driven by criminal elements, he said.

"The first incident was in Relela where police were attacked, and in Kubyana, police members were hit by stones," he said.

"This is sheer criminality now. People are taking the law into their own hands and we aren't going to accept that. They broke the law and they should face the law."

He said the situation in the area was not out of control, with residents falling victim to intimidation by criminal elements.

"We can't have a situation where children can't go to school. Those who are instigating this, the police are there to take charge and they will take charge. There are ways of raising issues, not to take the law into their own hands."

Police station attacked

On Tuesday night, 15 police officers were injured and 19 police vehicles damaged when around 1 500 people, armed with petrol bombs and stones, attacked the Relela satellite police station.

Two men, aged between 25 and 40, were killed, allegedly by police during the confrontation. Nine people were arrested for public violence.

Mulaudzi said on Wednesday the intentions of the protesters were clear and the officers did what anyone would have done to protect themselves.

However, residents said they were shot at when they went to the police station to demand that police find Raolane's hands.

Since the start of the year, at least five other people have been killed in protests, allegedly by police officers.

In the North West on 13 January, Osiah Rahube and photographer Michael Tshele were killed in clashes with police in Brits during a protest for running water.

A third man, Lerato Seema, died the following day from injuries sustained when jumping from a moving Nyala, according to police.

Police said a fourth person died on 19 January of injuries sustained in the clashes. Residents claim the 36-year-old man was shot in the head.

On 23 January, a 28-year-old man, Tshepo Babuseng, was shot dead by a police officer during a protest in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, over housing.

Read more on:    police  |  polokwane  |  protests

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.