Vredefort residents appear for public violence

2012-05-03 18:23

Bloemfontein - Five people appeared in the Vredefort Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence after protests in the town, Free State police said on Thursday.

Colonel Thandi Mbambo said the five also faced charges of possession of suspected stolen property.

A group of 2 000 residents started protesting, blocking roads with burning tyres and stones in Mokwallo township on Tuesday.

Three foreign-owned shops were damaged by fire. The protests were sparked by electricity supply problems in the township. Mbambo said the situation was calmer since some power was restored to the town on Thursday.

Attempts to set alight a municipal building in Mokwallo earlier in the week failed, but protesters broke most of the windows.

Police were continuing to patrol Mokwallo.