Polokwane – Police have taken the chief of Bevhula village in Saselamani to safety after his house was torched,. allegedly by residents, on Thursday night, police said.
It is suspected that the attack was fuelled by the earlier arrest of three people, who were opposed to the chief's decision to allow the Kruger National Park to have a buffer zone in the area, police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said on Friday.
Upon hearing of the arrest, the residents demanded their immediate release and allegedly charged to the chief's kraal.
"The unruly mob threw petrol bombs at the house of the chief and set it alight with the chief still inside," said Mojapelo.
"The police rescued the chief, but the crowd managed to assault him as he was taken away."
The chief had earlier laid charges against the three men after they defied a court order not to interfere with the buffer zone progress.
"Two police officers were injured and two police vehicles were damaged during the incident. The injured officers are still recuperating in hospital," said Mojapelo.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has condemned the acts and has urged the community to resolve their issues amicably.
Police are still searching for the suspects, who are likely to be charged with attempted murder and public violence.