Violent N West protest continues

2012-06-06 20:36

Johannesburg - A total of 36 people have been arrested since the start of a violent protest in Mogwase, North West police said on Wednesday.

They faced charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson, said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

He said the protest started on Tuesday night, and turned violent on Wednesday when protesters assaulted a bus driver and torched a bus.

"During the early hours of Wednesday, protesters threw petrol bombs at a house of a municipality councillor," he said.

Two trucks were also pelted with stones and badly damaged.

Ngubane said the community of Bakgatla ba Kgafela, in Moruleng, was unhappy that it had not received feedback from the Bakgatla ba Kgafela Tribal Authority (BBKTA) to a memorandum of grievances handed over in May.

The community had demanded, among others, that the BBKTA do something to ensure local people were favoured for employment at the Pilanesberg Mines, near Mothlabe village. It claimed the BBKTA held shares in the mine.

"Schools were closed on Wednesday as teachers could not reach the schools," said Ngubane.

He said traffic was brought to a standstill when protesters barricaded roads.

Ngubane said the situation remained tense and police would continue to monitor the affected areas.