Protests continue in Boitumelong

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Photo: Dumisani Sibeko.

Johannesburg - Violent protests continued on Monday across the Boitumelong township in Bloemhof in the North West, said police.

Protesters torched six houses including that of the mayor, said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

The houses of two municipal officials, two police officials and the mayor's neighbour was also destroyed.

“The next door neighbour... is allegedly the relative of the mayor,” said Ngubane.

The community hall was also set alight.

As schools re-opened on Monday, many of them were disrupted by protests.

The protesters barricaded the N12 road with burning tyres and pelted police officers with stones.

“Two police officials sustained injuries from the incident after they were pelted with stones by the community and were taken to Christiana hospital for medical treatment,” said Ngubane.

“One police officer lost his finger in process, his right hand thumb.”

A police Nyala vehicle was also petrol bombed.

Ngubane said the vehicle had been stuck in the area after experiencing engine problems. The police officers inside the Nyala managed to escape unharmed.

Almost 100 people have been arrested since the protests began on Wednesday.

They have all been charged with public unrest and malicious damage to property.

Sixteen of those arrested earlier appeared in Bloemhof Magistrate's Court.

The matter was postponed to Friday when they were expected to apply for bail.

“The situation is volatile and the police are closely monitoring the situation, and will continue effecting arrests on those who are breaking the law,” said Ngubane.

Protesters apparently demanded the resignation of the mayor and councillors.

They reportedly accused them of nepotism and failing to deliver basic services.

Sapa


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