Smoke continued to billow over the skyline of Coligny as the sun set. Police vehicles could be seen driving up and down responding to calls of protesting residents regrouping and engaging in violent acts.
Several vehicles were stoned on the road linking Lichtenburg and Coligny earlier on Monday evening as police battled to keep back angry residents.The fresh spate of violent protests was sparked after bail was granted to two men accused of killing a local youngster.
Motorists were advised not to use the road by traffic officers but allowed those who chose to take the risk to proceed with strong warnings of what could happen to their vehicles.
Among the cars pelted with stones was a City Press vehicle, which was hit near a petrol station on the outskirts of Coligny.
Police battled to push back a crowd that was trying to cross the road with the intention of attacking a petrol station neat Tlhabologang township along the road leading to Lichtenburg.
On the other side of Tlhabologang, police formed the only wall between a group of residents and a farmhouse they were trying to attack. More rubber bullets and stun grenades were used to disperse the crowd and keep them away from the farm, which had cows and sheep on the property.
Elsewhere in the small town, two homeowners were assessing their damage after their houses were burnt down. While white-owned houses had mainly been the targets since Coligny was plunged into chaotic protests more than a week ago, one of the houses torched on Monday was owned by an Indian businessman, who expressed concerns over the community’s safety.
Earlier in the day, a freelance photographer was attacked by a farmer after a group of journalists rushed to the scene of a farmhouse on fire outside Coligny. He left the property with a bleeding face.
Another photographer’s camera lens was damaged during a scuffle with a farmer, who also pulled out a gun as he screamed at a media group and ordered them out of the property while firefighters battled the flames.
Meanwhile, a group of residents that remained at the court house while surged towards the township minutes before violence erupted claimed a group of white men had pointed firearms at them.
Police remained on high alert in the area, which was on a knife edge on Monday evening. More police personnel were seen arriving in the area while motorists, including the media, were advised to leave for their own safety.