Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Sasolburg - Police reinforcements have been brought in from Gauteng and Welkom to help manage a protest by residents of Zamdela township in Sasolburg, Free State police said on Monday.
“We have manpower now,” Constable Peter Kareli said.
“Everything is under our control and we want to keep it under our control.”
Kareli said some of the protesters had gone home. Others sat on street corners, throwing stones at passing police vehicles.
Earlier, residents protesting against municipal demarcation plans set two trucks alight. They injured two police officers inside a Nyala (armoured) vehicle when it became stuck in the mud.
Kareli said water cannons and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowd.
Co-operative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi was expected to meet officials from the Fezile Dabi municipality on Monday afternoon to discuss the protesters' grievances.
The protests started on Sunday when residents came out of a meeting about municipal demarcation. They were apparently unhappy about plans to merge Sasolburg with 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.
It was estimated 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