Mahikeng - Rubber bullets and stun grenades were used to disperse protesting residents of Setlagole, near Mahikeng, on Thursday, North West police said.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said about 400 people gathered illegally and blocked the N18 between Vryburg and Mahikeng. They began burning tyres from around 3am.

“The community allegedly barricaded the road and demanded to be given feedback by the mayor of Ratlou local municipality on issues pertaining to the memorandum they handed in on February 14,” he said.

Around 10am, police dispersed the crowd and nine women and 11 men were arrested. A number of foreign-owned shops were looted during the protest and four women and three men were arrested for possession of suspected stolen goods.

“It was also reported that an attempt was made to set alight the house of the mayor, but the police intervened and only window panes were damaged after being pelted with stones by protesters,” Ngubane said.

Those arrested would appear in court soon to face charges of public violence, possession of suspected stolen goods, business robbery and contravention of the Road Traffic Act.

Sapa