Rustenburg - Nine people were sentenced to six years’ imprisonment suspended for five years, for burning a councillor’s house 10 years ago.
James Esau, Nicolaas Smous, Hendrick Boesak, Julian de Koker, Christo Titus, Shepherd Mienies, Elvis Duiker, Isaak Obuseng and Thabang Mienies were sentenced on Monday, at the Kuruman Regional Court in the Northern Cape.
Northern Cape police spokesperson Captain Olebogeng Tawana said the group were arrested following service delivery protest in Olifantshoek in June 2012.
“The accused were the ring leaders of the Olifantshoek community members that set alight the property of the then ward councillor in Olifantshoek. A house worth R1.1 million belonging to the then ward councillor including the house contents to the value of R590 000-00 and a motor vehicle were gutted in the blaze caused by the accused,” Tawana said.
“The court heard that community members went on a rampage destroying infrastructure, closed down the streets and brought everything to a standstill, in demand of service delivery.”
He said the group was arrested and later released on bail.
“The trial resumed in 2017. On Friday, April 8, 2022 the accused were found guilty of public violence and malicious damage to property and were remanded in custody until they were sentenced.”
Northern Cape acting deputy provincial commissioner for crime detection, Brigadier Nicky Mills, welcomed the sentence.
“The jail sentence will serve as a deterrent, to those who destroy property during service delivery protest,” Brigadier Mills said.