Limpopo towns quiet after protests

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National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega speaks to Relela villagers outside Tzaneen after about 20 policemen under siege from a "mob of thousands" fired live rounds because they feared for their lives. Photo: Moloko Moloto

 

Tzaneen - The Relela and Kubjana villages, near Tzaneen, were quiet at the weekend following recent protests, Limpopo police said on Sunday morning.

“(The villages) are very quiet. The only outstanding thing is that nine suspects are appearing in court (on Monday),” said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

The nine were arrested in Kubjana on Thursday night on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson, after they allegedly set fire to a local businessman's house, car and shop.

They would appear in the Bolobedu Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The protests began after a child was found suffocated in the boot of the businessman's car. Two other children found locked in his car were unharmed. Locals accused the businessman of kidnapping the children.

Residents clashed with police who responded at the scene, and threw stones at them.

Three people have died amid the protests in the area.

Protesters were also demanding the arrest of the people who killed and mutilated a 20-year-old woman last week. Two people were taken in for questioning but were later released.

During the protests on Thursday, foreign shops were looted.

On Friday some schools closed, police satellite stations were rendered un-operational and taxi routes were disrupted in the two villages.

On Thursday, nine other people arrested during the protest in Relela appeared in the Bolobedu Magistrate's Court on charges of public violence and the case was postponed to February 11. - Sapa


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