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Johannesburg - Fifteen people were arrested on Tuesday night during a protest in Mogwase, according to North West police.
“The police in Mogwase have opened a case of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson, following a march that started from the Mogwase sports ground,” said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.
He said the community of Bakgatla ba Kgafela, in Moruleng, was unhappy that it had not received feedback from the Bakgatla ba Kgafela Tribal Authority (BBKTA) regarding a memorandum of grievances handed over in May.
The community had demanded that the BBKTA do something to ensure local people were favoured for employment at the Pilanesberg Mines, near Mothlabe village. It claimed the BBKTA held shares in the mine.
About a thousand people marched, even though they were warned that they would be doing so illegally, said Ngubane.
“The situation eventually spiralled out of control and led to the arrest of five males and 10 females,” he said.
The protesters damaged a passing car and set alight a shop belonging to a BBKTA office-worker related to the chief in the area. Roads were barricaded.
The police were doing their best to control the situation and more arrests were expected, said Ngubane.
He said about 2 500 residents were also on the rampage in Boitekong, demanding that they be employed at local mines in the area.
They had barricaded the road between Mogwase and Rustenburg, and other roads, with burning tyres and stones.
They had also thrown stones at cars belonging to Impala Mine workers who were underground.
“Rustenburg police are still monitoring the situation trying to protect people's property,” he said.
North West police commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo said the violence was compromising normal policing as officers had to be shifted from other policing areas. - Sapa