Police fire rubber bullets to disperse protesting Lichtenburg residents

2017-10-11 14:41
The aftermath of the protest in Lichtenburg, North West. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

The aftermath of the protest in Lichtenburg, North West. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Lichtenburg - Less than 24 hours after a teenager was shot and killed and two others injured by a man who shot at a group of protesters, some community members took to the streets again to barricade Lichtenburg's main road while they waited for the mayor to address them.

By Wednesday afternoon, burning tyres, rocks and tree branches lay on Dr Nelson Mandela-Rylaan in Lichtenburg, North West.

Earlier in the day, protesters stoned any cars passing the area while a few others sat, waiting in despair, along the side of the road.

READ: Man hands himself in after allegedly opening fire on Lichtenburg protesters, killing boy

Some could be seen holding "ketties" (slingshots) in one and empty beer bottles in the other.

Three police nyalas disrupted the chaos and restored some sense of calm by dispersing the crowd with rubber bullets.

The rocks and ash from burnt tyres can still be seen on the main road, although the protest has been quelled, for now.

Shooting at the crowd

Community member Mestro Sedumedi said residents were protesting because they wanted the houses they were promised by government as well as the delivery of basic services.

"We have been waiting for almost 10 years now [for] RDP houses that were promised to us. I signed up for one in 2007," Sedumedi said.

He said he has been living in the small town for almost 17 years.

Sedumedi and his friend Vicky Booysen sat on the side of the road next to a closed spaza shop speaking talking to News24.

Earlier in the morning, they heard news that a 46-year-old man handed himself over to police for shooting at the crowd.

"It is very bad what happened to the boy that was killed," Sedumedi said.

The man allegedly opened fire on a group of protesters, killing the 15-year-old and injuring two others, aged 17 and 20.

Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone told News24 the man handed himself over at around 22:00 on Tuesday evening.

Many of the shops and business in the town's main road were closed on Wednesday.

According to Sedumedi, most business shut their doors on Tuesday as the protest began to build up.

Booysen said they were waiting for Lichtenburg Mayor Daniel Buthelezi to address them on the issues.

"He came here the last time and said he will come fix the issues next time, but we are still waiting for him."

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