Free State - Two police officers were injured on Monday during a protest by Zamdela township residents in Sasolburg, Free State police said.

“It is critical now in Zamdela. We have police officials injured and they are being attacked by the mob,” said Constable Peter Kareli.

Residents, who were protesting against municipal demarcation plans, were throwing stones and had barricaded the road.

A police Nyala had become stuck in mud and protesters had attacked the officers inside.

“Water cannons have been used and some rubber bullets. The helicopter is also firing rubber bullets,” said Kareli. “The situation is volatile.”

The protests started on Sunday when residents came out of a meeting about municipal demarcation.

They were apparently unhappy about plans to merge Sasolburg into the Ngwathe local municipality, under which Parys falls.

Nearly 90 people were arrested and charged with public violence on Sunday when they ran amok and looted shops in the township.

“More people were arrested at around 3am this morning (Monday) as they continued to loot shops,” Kareli said.

The total number of those arrested since Sunday had not yet been officially tallied, but it was estimated that almost 150 people had been taken into custody.

Those arrested on Sunday were expected to appear in the Sasolburg Magistrates' Court on Monday on charges of public violence. - Sapa