Protesters held in Northern Cape

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Seven people have been arrested in service delivery protests in Olifantshoek in the Northern Cape, police said on Wednesday.

Captain Cherelle Ehlers said police made the arrests on Tuesday after reinforcements were sent from Upington and Kimberley to help contain the riots.

The house of municipal manager Charles Phuti was damaged when it was set alight on Tuesday, apparently by protesters.

The town has been plagued by protests since the beginning of the month.

In another incident, a town councillor's flat was vandalised by protesters who took his personal belongings and burned them in the street.

The protesters were demanding the immediate resignation of executive mayor Maria Diniza and her council.

The residents' spokesman, Sheperd Mines, said they were protesting over a lack of basic service delivery and unfulfilled promises of employment at mines in Kath.

Northern Cape acting premier Grizelda Cjiekella deployed several MECs to Olifantshoek and other towns to deal with protests.

Northern Cape safety and security MEC Patrick Mabilo and roads and public works MEC Dawid Rooi visited Olifantshoek and met residents.

Mines said a promise had been made that senior government officials would visit the town to deal with the problems by last Friday.

Rooi said a draft report on the Olifantshoek situation had been drawn up and was delivered to Cjiekella on Monday.

Ehlers confirmed that the police were investigating allegations that a bystander was admitted to hospital after being hit in the eye by a rubber bullet during police action this week. – Sapa

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