Violent protests are not the answer - magistrate

2015-03-19 19:24
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

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Malalane - Government is failing the people but violent protests are not the answer, an Mpumalanga magistrate said on Thursday.

Magistrate Hazel Khoza told five people accused of public violence that service delivery was a serious social problem, a Sapa correspondent reported.

"I can see that our government is failing us. I cannot beat around the bush. We know there is lack of services in our country and we are not proud of it. But damaging property, barricading roads, will not solve our problems," she said.

Everyone had a right to protest, but not to commit crime.

"We request you to conduct protests in a disciplined way. If you destroy the little roads, you will come back and protest in demand of a road, which will make the government take longer to fix."

The five protesters were arrested following protest action in Khulubuse on Sunday night.

Prosecutor Vicky Nkuna told the court the accused should spend seven days in police cells because of the damage they had caused.

"I intentionally oppose bail because these people have been blocking the road. Even now when I came in to this court they blocked the entrance. The streets did nothing to you. Go to the mayor or someone if you want something.

"I want you to stay for seven days. We know about the lack of services, but blocking roads will never be a problem solver," Nkuna said.

Before the court went into session, chaos erupted outside when heavily armed police officers stopped angry locals from entering the court.

The five accused were not asked to plead and were released on warning until 28 April while police investigate the case.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  protests  |  crime

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