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Situation tense in Boitumelong

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Johannesburg - The situation in Boitumelong was tense as protest action intensified in the area, the office of the North West premier said on Thursday.

“It is very tense in the area but we hope the situation will be conducive when the premier visits the area later this afternoon (Thursday),” spokesman Lesiba Kgwele told Sapa.

Premier Thandi Modise is scheduled to interact with residents and visit the family of the Christiana teenager who was shot dead at a tavern on Wednesday.

He was allegedly part of a mob looting shops while protests were underway in the town. When the group arrived at a tavern, its owner fired shots at them, killing the boy and wounding two other people.

Kgwele appealed for calm in the area.

“We don't want heightened racial tensions. We are appealing for calm and to allow for the law to take its course,” he said.

Last week, protests started in Boitumelong township in neighbouring Bloemhof.

On Monday, residents blocked the N12 and set alight a municipal office, community hall, houses belonging to the mayor, two councillors and two officials, and several businesses.

By Tuesday, the protest had spilled over to Coverdale in Christiana where a community hall was torched.

Journalists were also not spared the brunt of the anger of residents. Their cars were attacked and stoned.

“At the moment residents have blocked roads in Boitumelong and we can't enter the township. There is a police nyala patrolling the streets,” said one journalist.

Police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said police were monitoring the situation but no acts of violence were reported. - Sapa


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