Johannesburg - Thirteen people were arrested for arson and kidnapping at the Mmaditlhokwa informal settlement in Marikana on Wednesday, North West police said.
“They were wanted for allegedly setting alight a ward councillor's house and a house belonging to the councillor's close friend where a person was also kidnapped during the night on Tuesday, May 13,” Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said.
Residents blocked the entrance to the informal settlement with rocks, apparently protesting over the arrest of the 13.
“The road has been blocked. Police are monitoring the situation,” he said.
Ward councillor Appearance Ndlovu's house was burnt down during a protest by residents in May. They barricaded roads with burning tyres and rubble in protest against blasting at the nearby Tharisa mine. They alleged the blasts damaged their houses and affected their children's health.
Sixteen people were arrested on that night for public violence. They pleaded guilty and each paid a R100 admission of guilt fine in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on July 4.
Mokgwabone said the four women and nine men arrested on Wednesday were expected to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court soon.
In a separate incident, three men were arrested for possession of an illegal firearm in Marikana.
“The suspects were arrested after information was received that they were in possession of a firearm. They are expected to appear in Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Thursday,” said Mokgwabone. - Sapa