1 killed, 1 hurt in Bapong crashes

Published Jan 13, 2012


A man has died and another has been injured in two crashes during a demonstration in Bapong, in the North West, police said on Friday.

People were demonstrating on Thursday against a local mine's failure to employ local residents when a truck driven by a Bangladeshi hit a 31-year-old man, said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

“The 31-year-old injured pedestrian was taken to the local clinic by a friend and declared dead on arrival.”

He said the man was the chairman of the Unemployed Peoples' Forum, which had been responsible for the demonstration

The person who took him to the clinic was driving back when he too hit a pedestrian, said Ngubane.

The injured man found his own way to the clinic where he was treated for minor injuries, he said.

The truck driver fled and had to be escorted to safety by the police when angry protesters assaulted him, said Ngubane.

He said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated.

The protesters started mobilising and holding public meetings on Monday and started blocking the roads around Bapong in the early hours on Tuesday.

“The roads were cleared by the police by 6am and the situation was monitored,” said Ngubane.

The Modderspruit four way stop was again blocked on Thursday and the police were called in to open the road and monitor the situation.

He said 14 people were arrested at 2am on Thursday for public violence, after stones were thrown at vehicles travelling on the N4 at the Modderspruit crossing.

The seven men and seven women, aged between 23 and 44, were expected to appear in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Monday.

North West police commissioner Lieutenant-General Zukiswa Mbombo had asked the community not to break or take the law into their own hands, said Ngubane.

“The police will act against people who do not abide by the laws.”

He said the police would continue to monitor the situation until it was calm and under control. – Sapa

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