Police: Criminality replacing protests

2013-10-17 19:03

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Johannesburg - Criminal activity is replacing demarcation protests in Malamulele, Limpopo police said on Thursday.

"The current situation is real quiet, but once it becomes dark, that is when problems emerge, such as cars being stoned and shops being burned," said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

"These are no longer protests. These are criminal acts being perpetrated not in the Malamulele CBD but in adjoining areas. That is the situation."

He said it was quiet in Malamulele on Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday, small groups of protesters blocked roads and burned tyres.

On Tuesday, almost 20 000 residents went on the rampage after the demarcation board did not grant them a meeting to demand their own municipality, Mulaudzi said at the time.

The residents burnt down a government building and shops during the violent protest.

"We are happy with the police deployment in the area. We are guarding all the government buildings," he said.

"What we want to point out is the fact that as the law enforcement agency of this country, we are going to act against anyone that is going to transgress the law."

Police had received information that a gathering was planned for Friday and over the weekend at the stadium in Malamulele. Due process needed to be followed, Mulaudzi said.

"The proper application needs to be made for the gathering to take place," he said.

"We haven't received any indication from them, and as such we want to give them a stern warning that we will not tolerate any gathering in Malamulele that does not follow due process."

If a meeting was attempted without due process being followed on Friday or over the weekend, police would make sure such a gathering did not take place, he said.

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